Mike Danton has had a unique hockey career. He has played in the NHL, the best league in the world, and now made his way to the lower leagues of Europe like the Mol Liga, Division 1 Swedish, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, and the Polish hockey league. On how the PHL compared to those leagues, “The PHL is a good league. It is difficult to compare leagues because they all bring their own unique assets to competition. I think a good way to compare is through the Continental Cup, and the Polish teams have competed very well.” and on playing in the PHL. “ I enjoyed my time in Poland. European hockey is much different from Canadian hockey in many ways. I think the biggest difference with me playing in Poland was that the Polish community have never seen a player like myself and my style. I mean, after Sanok beat Tychy in the finals my first year, the league created a rule simply because of my style. In hockey, you shouldn’t try to eliminate assets that players can bring. It is up to the teams discretion to find alternative ways to combat players like that and overcome all obstacles.” In his time in the PHL, Danton would become a PHL champion in 2014. Danton would scored 32 goals along with 71 assists in 95 games across three seasons all with STS Sanok. Sts Sanok unfortunately is not participating in the 2016-17 leaving all there players including Danton to become free agents. Danton is leaving the PHL for the the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey. Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey or LNAH is a hockey league know for physical play in Canada. Before he signed in the LNAH there were rumors on other Polish teams being interested in signing Danton. Danton confirmed clubs were interested, “Yes, there were a couple other Polish teams that were interested in me. However, the money I was being offered was not enough. The cost of living in Canada is much higher than that of Poland. I have a mortgage and school tuition. I cannot afford to lose money over a 12-month period. Also, I’m in the process of obtaining my PhD, and some of the coursework must be done locally in Canada.”
While in Poland, Danton also became a part of the Polish national team. He had qualified for the team by playing two seasons in the PHL. Mike Cichy and he would both be the first imports to play in the red and white. “I’m not sure how the idea of me playing for the national team came about, but at one point my agent Rafal Omasta asked me if I was interested and I told him, “of course, I am interested.” Danton on how he first joined the Polish national squad. With singing in the in LNAH it does copulate his national team career a bit when asked about his future with the team Danton responded saying “My career with the national team was never in my hands. From the beginning, I told some of the people in charge that I needed help with certain papers. I don’t speak with my biological family, so attaining the birth certificates of my parents is not possible. In the beginning, I was told that I would receive help and attaining my Polish passport would not be a problem. In the end, I had no help while my phone calls and emails went ignored.” The issues with the passport continue to put a dark cloud over his future with the national team. Danton did not represent Poland at the Olympic qualification or any other national team events.
At Poland Hockey, we wish Danton the best of luck in the LNAH and in his future.