Mike Danton went to Sweden to play hockey, but in the process became a hero.
Danton, a former NHL player, rushed to the aid of IFK Ore teammate Marcus Bengtsson, who was having a convulsion on the ice after absorbing a big hit in the team's season opener Sunday.
According to a blog kept by Danton for Swedish paper DT, Bengtsson took a late hit with about 14 minutes left in the game against Soderhamn/Ljusne. He lay on the ice suffering convulsions for six or seven minutes. During this time, Danton helped open Bengtsson's mouth and stop Bengtsson from choking on his own tongue.
"One of the luxuries of my prison experience afforded me to take a first aid course and become certified in first aid response," Danton wrote in his blog. "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."
Danton, 30, played 87 games in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils
and St. Louis Blues
before being sent to prison in 2004 for a failed murder-for-hire plot.
He was released from prison in 2009 and went to college, playing two seasons with the St. Mary Huskies in the Canadian university league. This summer, he signed with IFK Ore, which plays in the third tier of Sweden's professional hockey setup. Danton is the captain of the team.
Bengtsson, meanwhile, was taken to the hospital after the incident and was reported to be alert, although he has no memory of the play, according to Danton.