Danton starts classes at SMU

Mike Danton started classes at SMU on Thursday but needs to be further assessed by Corrections Canada until he can play SMU hockey.

Recently parolled ex-NHLer Mike Danton started classes on Thursday at Saint Mary's University - but whether he'll lace up for Huskies hockey will not be decided for at least a few weeks.

In a meeting on Thursday with the National Parole Board of Canada, Corrections Canada and university officials, it was determined Danton, 29, will be further assessed before he hits the ice, said Steve Sarty, director of Athletics and Recreation at SMU.

That could take as long as two weeks, he said.

Corrections Canada will be assessing his "living arrangements, how he's climatizing himself to the university, his classes, and basically how he is settling in," said Sarty.

Danton, who was parolled in September after serving more than five years for a failed murder-for-hire plot, has expressed "a strong desire to play hockey," but education is his top priority, said Sarty.

"He's back in society like any regular person, and he has the right to go to university, which he's doing," he said.

If Danton is given the go-ahead, it is up to head coach Trevor Stienburg to decide whether or not he will suit up for the Huskies. Earlier this week, Stienburg publicly expressed interest in Danton playing for the team.

According to rules set by the Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the governing body for athletics, Danton is allowed to play varsity hockey for three years. In the CIS, hockey players are not restricted by age caps. It is up to the individual universities to decide whether or not a player fits into the program.

Sarty says the team wants to be a part of Danton's reintegration into society because "it's bigger than just hockey."

"That means allowing him to be a part of the team," he said. "Whether it means he practices with the team and never plays, the hockey team still feels really good about the role they've played in the process."

Danton is taking classes in sociology and psychology, said Sarty. He confirmed Danton would be taking at least three courses this semester, the minimum requirement to play SMU hockey.


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