HALIFAX — For Mike Danton, the wait is over.
Saint Mary’s University athletic director Steve Sarty confirmed Tuesday that the 29-year-old ex-NHLer will suit up for the Huskies for the first time during a game Wednesday night against the Acadia Axemen in Halifax.
Danton was recently released from prison after serving more than five years in the United States and Canada for conspiracy to commit murder.
He enrolled earlier this month at Saint Mary’s and will likely be inserted into the Huskies second line, alongside team leading scorer Cam Fergus and grinder Justin Munden.
Head coach Trevor Stienburg said usual linemate Kyle Doucet broke his thumb during Saturday’s game against Dalhousie and will be out of the lineup.
“Doucet’s seems to be the obvious spot, right-handed guy who plays right wing,” he said earlier this week. “But (Danton) could play just about anywhere.
“I’m going to give him all he can handle. I don’t think denying him players to play with is the way to go.”
Stienburg said Danton, who played in the NHL for New Jersey and St. Louis, has been itching to play.
“He’s waited long enough,” he said. “He’s chomping. I told him our plans are to put him in.”
Steinburg said he didn’t want to put Danton in against a mediocre team.
“It’s a big game; Acadia’s a good team,” he said. “He’s not nervous; he just wants to play. But I’m a realist. I think it’s going to take at least five games to just get a feeling of being OK.”
Danton’s arrival on campus a couple of weeks ago has generated a lot of debate about whether he’s too old the play university hockey or should even be allowed given his criminal past.
During a media briefing last week, Danton said he wanted to focus on his studies and also get back to the game he loves.