Danton is cut loose by Devils

For those of you outside the NY Metro area here is another article about a fourth line rookie and his agent screwing up their careers.

Mike Danton, nee Jefferson made the team, whined about being scratched from a game, and after playing an undisciplined and sloppy game against the Red Wings Wednesday cried about his playing time.

I loved this kids on-ice demeanor, but it appears he and his useless agent have a lot to learn about being professionals in the NHL.

I usually don’t like to take out other people press pieces but I thought this was the perfect example of how agents are ruining the game of hockey.

Please read and let me know if you agree:

–MantaDevils: Saga ends as Danton is cut loose by GM

Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

NASHVILLE — In the eyes of Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, Mike Danton could change his name, but he could not change his knack for getting under the skin of management.

Uncomfortable with Danton’s outspoken style, Lamoriello yesterday sent the rookie center back to New Jersey and announced he would not play another game for the Devils.

“He won’t play for us again,” Lamoriello said. “I like the way he plays, but I don’t like his decisions. After awhile it becomes a distraction.”

Danton said he was “quite shocked” by the decision.

“I worked my butt off for this team. I did everything Pat (Burns) told me to do,” Danton said. “I haven’t done anything wrong. This comes out of nowhere. Obviously I don’t fit in here. Maybe I have to cut my hair a different length or shave more. I was told there woul.d be no punishment, no grudge, but it was evident that Lou and I were never going to get along. Things were never going to work out.”

Although Danton was assigned to Albany (AHL), Lamoriello said he would not play any games for the River Rats so as to not take any ice time away from other players. Instead, he will eventually be sent to another American Hockey League team while Lamoriello tries to trade him.

One of the teams that could be interested in Danton, 22, are the San Jose Sharks. Scout John Ferguson is a big Danton supporter. Another possibility is a deal with the Vancouver Canucks and GM Brian Burke.

“I think we’ll find out now if there is a vendetta,” agent Dave Frost said. “If Lou clearly tries to make a trade and if going to the minors is a short-term solution, we’d look at it. If it’s for any length of time, no. There are tons of teams that want him. I’ve been told that this was planned from day one because Mike wouldn’t march to Lou Lamoriello’s drum. They played him 20 games just to drum up interest.”

Lamoriello denied that was the case and claimed that Danton’s performance on the ice had as much to do with the decision as his recent complaints about a drop in ice time.

“I made the decision after watching the Detroit game,” Lamoriello said. “It was a culmination of a lot of things. He’s just not ready to play, in my mind, with reference to his decisions on the ice. And his thought process is he doesn’t want to play in the minors.”

This is the second time this season Danton was sent back to New Jersey during a road trip. When he complained to The Star-Ledger about sitting out a game in Raleigh, N.C., on Oct. 19, he flew to Atlanta with the rest of the team but was then sent home as punishment. After a meeting with Lamoriello, a tight-lipped Danton rejoined the Devils in Buffalo.

Things seemed to be looking up when Danton played part of the Nov. 21 game against the Rangers on the Joe Nieuwendyk line. However, when he was demoted to the fourth line for the next game while seeing his ice time diminished, Danton once again went public in The Star-Ledger with his unhappiness.

Lamoriello did not accompany the Devils to Detroit earlier this week. The GM flew to Nashville, where he called Danton on the player’s cell phone after breakfast yesterday morning. Danton was on a plane by the time Lamoriello addressed the media at the morning skate, put on an inconvenient connection through Cleveland back to New Jersey.

“The last two months, I’ve been told I haven’t done anything wrong,” Danton said. “All I’ve heard is praise from Pat, Bobby Carpenter and Jacques Caron. At one point my ice time was up to 12 minutes a game and now this comes out of the blue. He just told me he’s going to trade me.”

“Mike is absolutely shocked,” Frost said. “How many times did he complain about ice time? He didn’t say one word directly to Pat (Burns) or Lou. This was preconceived, without any question.”

Danton, who changed his surname from Jefferson this past summer to distance himself from family problems, was suspended all of last season. After suffering an abdominal tear during the 2001-02 preseason, he flew to California for a second medical opinion rather than report to Albany. Frost initiated a reconciliation between Lamoriello and Danton during the summer and the suspension was lifted.

A strong preseason earned Danton a spot on the team, but the relationship between the strict GM and the outspoken player was shaky at best.

10 Responses to Danton is cut loose by Devils

  1. DG says:

    Sounds like Mr. Mike Danton has quite a lot to learn himself. First off, he should know that, unless his name is Patrik Elias, that ice time is never guaranteed and if his coaches decide that he doesn’t deserve the ice time he had before, there has to be a reason for it. Plus, if he has a problem with how the coach deals with him, he should talk to him about it as opposed to lashing out in the papers. Yeah, Pat Burns may be iron-fisted, but it’s not like you can’t talk to him, plus, the guy wins so he must know what he’s doing. I do believe his agent, David Frost, is making him believe that he deserves more than he actually does, but I also believe that Danton is also to blame, since he has yet to learn that he can’t whine whenever he doesn’t get what he wants and that if he has a problem he should talk about it with his coaches, not the reporters.


  2. mikster says:

    This kid will be a locker room headache and not a good team player off the ice.

    He is a 3rd line winger, 4th line center at best. Big deal he hits and has a great tough attitude.

    But, he ain’t worth much. Florida or Tampa Bay should acquire him.

  3. TrojanMan says:

    Who the hell is Mike Danton and who the hell cares?

  4. cwhockey says:

    Danton is a headache. No arguments there. But Lamoriello is not blameless in all this. There were definitely better ways for him to handle this. Any manager in any line of work has to take a hard-lined approach at times to deal with employees. Seems like that is Lamoriello’s main approach though. It’s worked, I guess you could say. But it is an approach that could very well hurt him down the line. That’s not just a hockey fan talking, it’s a lot of years learning about and dealing with management.

    But I was curious about you’re saying he should be shipped to FLA or TB. Is that because they could use a player like him, or is that the “dump the garbage on expansion teams” theory? I’m not trying to play devil’s advocate or be an asshole here, really. It’s just I’ve seen this type of trading theory by so many fans in the past decade.

  5. mikster says:

    It’s trade rumors…and if you had him on your team you’d be a big part of the discussion.

  6. mikster says:

    Tampa and Florida would be interested in Danton because of the old junior line of Keefe-Danton-Shvidki. So, either Florida or Tampa would be quite interested in them.

    Even if Danton is a dork, he makes a difference on the ice, which is a good thing, but he is the kind of player who wants to be spoiled by management for his “toughness”.

    He isn’t garbage, but definitely not worth to have.

  7. Rico71 says:

    This guy thinks he’s the next Brendan Shanahan or something? Big ego, big mouth and an asshole to boot. Send him to the minors and let him rot for a while instead of trading him to another team.

    Why the hell would NJ make him happy and trade him? Sit him on his ass and make him learn some manners.

  8. MantaRay says:

    Lou is blameless in this;

    He gave the kid a chance to play and Danton shot himself in the foot. Lou didn’t complain in the press about being scratched or not getting enough ice time. It was Danton, who was afraid to talk to the coach directly and took the cowards way out through the press.

    His agent was right, this was preconcived on their part, not the Devils management.

  9. DG says:

    I think it would work: would certainly teach him for pouting. Just look at Kyle McLaren for example: he won’t play for them ever and he thought he’d show them a thing or two by sitting. Boy, he’s REALLY showing them now isn’t he. So I say, “go ahead Mike Danton, show them. You’re not going to get anywhere anyway.” Simply put, this guy needs to learn he needs to GET BETTER and maybe then he’d have a smidgen of legitimacy in his complaints…maybe.


  10. MattNJD says:

    I was a huge Danton supporter at the beggining of this season. I thought he brought something that the Devils have been lacking since Claude Lemieux. His stock rised in my mind when I was in attendace at the Devils opener for his first NHL goal. Here the long and the short of it for Danton. He is a rookie, a fourth line center. His agent (Frost) thinks he is Mario Lemieux. Danton can’t go the the press and complain about every little thing that irks him. Its a shame that he can’t keep his mouth shut because I liked him in a Devils jersey. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for getting Jarko Rutto out of Van. for Danton but we’ll have to wait and see.

Leave a Reply