Hockey: Sports Illustrated Does Danton

I don't get the print edition of Sports Illustrated, but the online version has a feature story on Mike Danton, dated February 28, 2011 and entitled "I'm Glad I Went to Prison" and written by L. Jon Wertheim.

The lede alerted my nit-pick radar - the school is always written Saint Mary's or SMU, not "St." and it not a college but a university, but I understand Americans see those two words as synonymous. Once you get past that, it is a good read.

There's not a lot new here if you've followed the Danton story closely, but the piece does a pretty good job accurately covering everything that has gone on up to now. For example, I didn't know that Danton had once attempted suicide in prison, nor that he had been moved around between institutions so much.

We learn that the NHLPA provided Danton with counseling services throughout his incarceration and that it obviously helped turn his spiraling life around. He started reading in prison and embraced learning, including correspondence courses from Queen's (and they got that punctuation correct).

The rest of his journey to the Saint Mary's hockey team is covered well, and I don't think I need to rehash it here. SI mentions Danton's age, but doesn't get caught up with it like certain Canadian pundits.

My favourite paragraph in the piece is probably this:
Skepticism ceased last season when Danton scored a goal in his first game and then helped the Huskies win their first Canadian Interuniversity Sport title. Despite his NHL credentials Danton served only as a defensive stopper. Still, he brought savvy, industriousness and an infusion of energy. "O.K., maybe he's not a 25-goal scorer," says St. Mary's forward Cam Fergus. "Still, if the puck goes into the corner, chances are he's coming out with it." Teammates were surprised by his humility. They once asked Danton how, having flown charter and skated in the big arenas of the NHL, he could abide by the modest conditions of Canadian college hockey. "Trust me," he said, "this is a lot closer to the NHL than it is to jail."
I highly recommend this SI piece to anyone, especially if you want an all-in-one piece about the Mike Danton story, that to me, is one of the most balanced versions yet written. Danton reveals a bit more of himself than he did last year with the media, and certainly takes ownership for all that has befallen him. You are definitely left with the impression that if Danton continues his psychology studies onto graduate school he could bring a unique perspective to the field.

I'm Glad I Went to Prison (L. Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated)
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  1. I went to high school half a block from the SMU campus, and refer to it as St. Mary's, and have seen it referred to as such all the time. FYI.

  2. It was a great piece, David. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

  3. Tybalt, you may have seen it referred to as St. Mary's, but you won't find it spelled that way on any official Saint Mary's document or website.

  4. Thanks for this, David. Funny how Sports Illustrated's take much more closely resembles what we said on CIS Blog a year ago than what the drive-by media said a year ago. Hope people pay close attention to Stienburg noting support for Mike ran about 10-1 positive. Just shows how out of touch some people are.

  5. Also, never seen SMU referred to as "a Catholic college." Does that make Queen's a Presbyterian university?

  6. Americans and religion ... go figure. Some day maybe they'll figure out that secular thing.

  7. Great piece, I didn't know this was out. I do have some questions though.

    1)Did Danton clarify his relationship with Frost? 2)Did SI push Danton on the Frost relationship?
    3)Did Danton mention the intended target of the hit?

    I'm always one to suggest that the availability of the second-chance is the most important part of reasoned society. However, since Danton left prison, he has continued to suggest that the contracted hit was never directed at Frost. He has even suggested that his father may have been the intended target. Unlike Kypreos, a US court didn't buy that load of crap. Yet, no one in media is focusing on that specific point.

    If Danton refuses to face up to the issue--revealing the puppet-master relationship he had with Frost-- then how in the world can anyone conclude that he has turned the page. My inner s*** detector says this guy is just saying enough to get himself paroled.

    On a side note, can we start referring to Queen's as con college from now on?

    Happy Slide

  8. I don't understand why Danton has to face up to the issue with Frost publicly just to satisfy complete strangers' curiosity and cynicism. He served time in prison. He paid enough already.

    The article spells out clearly that Danton would be kicked off the team if Frost was spotted around the arena. Well, he hasn't been kicked off the team.

    why does Danton owe complete strangers those answers? He served his time