Former NHLer Danton tried to kill self in prison
Just weeks after he was sent to prison for his role in a U.S. plot to hire a hitman to kill his longtime coach, former NHLer Mike Danton attempted to hang himself in his cell, Sports Illustrated reports in its latest issue.
In the article, 30-year-old Danton recounted the moment when he hit "rock bottom" in a California prison cell. He ripped his towel in strips, fashioned a noose which he wrapped around his neck and his bunk before jumping off.
"I absolutely wanted to die," he told the magazine.
But the terry cloth rope couldn’t support Danton’s weight and he hit the ground facing the names of the people he loved, which he scribbled onto the wall of his cell.
It was April 2004, just two weeks after the former hockey player was charged.
Danton, who was about 23 at the time, had played about 90 games in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils and the St. Louis Blues, but his career was cut short when he was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.
The Brampton, Ont., native was released from a U.S. prison in March 2009 and immediately returned to Canada, where he was granted full parole half a year later.
Reports have suggested Danton told the National Parole Board that the target of his murder plot was his estranged father and not his former coach.
"I’m not religious, but I realized that if I was supposed to die that day, I would have," he told the magazine, which followed Danton in his new environment at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, N.S.
The five-foot-nine forward, who plays on the university’s hockey team, told Sports Illustrated that while he’d like to return to professional hockey, his long-term goal is to earn a doctorate in psychology.
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