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As the following benches-clearing brawl between KH Sanok and Podhale in the Polish Hokej Liga (Polish Hockey League) begins, please take note of No. 34 on the blue team.
That’s Mike Danton, the infamous former National Hockey League who spent 63 months in jail for conspiracy to commit murder. He signed there last season, won a championship with the team and as you can see he’s rather enthusiastic about sticking up for his teammates.
Here’s what happened after Jordan Knox of Sanok was run from behind by a Podhale player. The brawl goes for the first few minutes of the clip, including a goalie fight; at around the nine-minute mark, you see business pick up again as the players attempt to leave the ice after the game was called, just 39 minutes into the contest with Sanok up 3-0.
From the “Things Not Often Seen From A Benches Clearing Brawl” department:
1. The players crowding around the two goalies as they fight like it’s some kind of dance-off.
2. The goalies hugging after their fight, and then briefly reminiscing about it.
3. Podhale still having to come out and do their goofy salute to the fans even though the game was suspended.
4. A player at the center of the melee posting a lengthy message on Facebook about his role in it.
That’s what Danton did on Sunday, via Facebook:
BEFORE you watch this video of last nights game against Podhale (in yellow) there are a couple things I would like to say. I have been reading a lot of comments regarding my actions last night.
People (clearly, not hockey knowledgable people) are stating that I am a violent person ... I spent 7-8 years in prison (which is incorrect) ... that my "violent nature" hasn't improved since my years in prison ... and that I shouldn't be allowed to play my style in Europe.
Here is a break down of what happened last night (and you can judge for yourself while watching the video).
Jordan Knox (91 - in black) was hit from behind close to their bench. I came in to stick up for him, as any good teammate would do. Once I grabbed the player that hit Knoxy from behind, about 5-7 players on Podhale's BENCH began to punch me in the face, stick me in the face and slash me over the helmet with their sticks (later, I was told by my teammates that their COACH was instructing his players on the bench to attack me). So, I dropped my gloves and began to fight with the instigating player.
Due to the fact I was receiving countless blows from their bench, I pulled the player away from the bench and began to show him what happens when you hit someone from behind and then pick a fight with someone that you shouldn't have.
Was I mad? Yes! Angry? Yes! Why? Oh, maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was fighting 7 players (6 of them on the bench) at the same time.
Therefore, all of you "knowledgable hockey fans" that stated I was violent and, once again, the bad guy in all of this ... get your head out of your ass, look at the evidence and shut your mouths. Actions create consequences.
Bottom line is: you hit someone from behind or stick them in the face or start a fight with someone, you better be ready to get in a fight. Live by the sword and die by the sword. Hope you enjoy the video, I did!
Or, you know, the stick …
Obviously, Danton’s reaction was a reasonable one. If seven players are punching you in the face while you try and punch their teammate in the face, then you drag their teammate far enough away where you aren’t getting punched in the face anymore. Hockey 101, really.