Danton denied visa to play hockey in England

The Canadian Press

8/20/2012 2:19:33 PM

Mike Danton's attempt to continue his hockey career in England is on hold after border officials refused to grant him an entry visa.

The former NHLer, who served more than five years in a U.S. prison for a failed murder-for-hire plot, had his visa application rejected last week, the Coventry Blaze announced Monday. The team, which plays in the Elite Ice Hockey League, said Danton plans to submit a secondary application to the UK Border Agency.

The Blaze called on officials to view that "sympathetically" because of the positive steps taken by Danton since his release from prison in 2009.

"Mike would be a huge asset both on and off the ice," the team said on its website. "He is an outstanding example of an individual who has turned his life around in recent years. ... There are so many positive reasons why we believe Mike deserves to be granted his visa."

Danton and team officials won't make any further comment until a decision is made on the secondary application, according to the Blaze.

The 31-year-old Danton returned to pro hockey last season -- splitting his time between teams in Sweden and the Czech Republic -- following two years at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, where he helped the Huskies win a national championship in 2010 and was named an academic all-Canadian because of a straight-A average.