September 19, 2011
The long, strange journey of former NHLer Mike Danton took him to IFK Ore of Sweden's Division 1 this summer, seven years after he was arrested in a murder-for-hire plot that derailed his pro career and led to five years in prison.
In IFK's season opener Sunday night against Soderhamn/Ljusne, the controversial player turned into hero, saving the life of a teammate on the ice.
During the third period, Danton's teammate, Marcus Bengtsson, took a late check and fell to the ice landing face first. It was soon after that Bengtsson began to go into convulsions.
Bengtsson started having a seizure and that's when Danton sprung into action to help save his teammate's life. After a few minutes, Bengtsson's jaw locked and Danton believed that he was going to choke on his own tongue (despite the belief it can't occur). On his blog Monday, Danton wrote about the incident:
As his eyes continued to roll into the back of his head, his mouth finally opened a bit. It was at that time that I jammed my fingers into his mouth and clawed his tongue. While I did that, Max and Roger tilted Bangan [Bengtsson] on to his side to keep his tongue and blood from sliding into his throat.
Danton noted in his blog that during his five years in prison, he became certified in first aid.
The game was halted, but the decision to continue was put on the shoulders of Danton. He decided to ask Bengtsson, who gave them the green light. IFK would end up winning 4-3; and after the game, members of the team visited Bengtsson in hospital where he had no recollection of the frightening events.