uncovers further Danton-Frost intrigue
A documentary produced by CBC-TV's the fifth estate offers recordings
of former NHL player Mike Danton's jailhouse conversations and interviews with
his parents and agent David Frost.
INDEPTH: THE MIKE DANTON CASE Profile: David Frost
CBC Sports Online | Last updated Aug 22, 2006
Mike Danton's former agent David Frost
Described as a "lunatic" and "scary" by some and a "mentor" by others, former hockey agent David Frost is a key player in the story of Mike Danton.
Not much is known about the 39-year-old Frost, and opinions are split about the influence he wielded over his young hockey charges.
What is known is that Frost was introduced to an 11-year-old Mike Jefferson (now known as Mike Danton) by the boy's father, and has served as the agent to the St. Louis Blues forward since he was 15.
In 1999, Stephen Jefferson called Frost "the best thing to ever happen to my kid." Five years later, as Mike Danton sits in a jail for his role in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme, Jefferson urged his son to "get the hell away from David Frost."
According to U.S. federal prosecutors, Danton plotted to kill Frost for at least six months, a charge that Frost has repeatedly denied.
Danton pleaded guilty to the murder plot in July 2004 and was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.
Before becoming a player agent, Frost spent several years coaching
minor and junior hockey. His tenure as a bench boss was not without
controversy, however, as he pleaded guilty to assault charges and
was barred by the Ontario Hockey Association and suspended by the
Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League (now known as the Greater Toronto
Hockey League) within a four-season span.
Following the 1993-94 season, the OHA was set to suspend the entire Brampton Jr. A team, which was coached by Frost, for undisciplined play. The league ended up putting Brampton on probation, only because the team said Frost would not return as coach.
During the 1995-96 season, Frost was suspended indefinitely by the Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League "for being party to the falsification of documents," according to a league document. He was coaching the Toronto Red Wings at the time and, allegedly, the signature of general manager Terry Weir was forged on player-release forms. The league found Frost guilty by association.
In April 1997, less than seven months after the MTHL suspension, Frost was charged with assaulting one of his players, Darryl Tiveron, while serving as an assistant coach with the Quinte Hawks of the Metro Junior Hockey League. Tiveron later denied the assault took place, but two off-duty police officers say they witnessed the incident and Frost pleaded guilty to assault charges that summer.
However, it was Frost's relationship with Danton, Sheldon Keefe, Ryan Barnes and Shawn Cation that really raised eyebrows. Frost coached and advised the foursome in Quinte and became heavily involved in the lives and development of his players when he lived in the same hotel as his young clients.
Accusations began to fly that the players were being brainwashed by the agent, that they did everything he said and that Frost exerted a powerful hold over the youths.
It's an accusation that Frost vehemently denied in a 1999 interview with the Toronto Sun.
"I've heard the brainwash stuff, that I brainwash players," he told the paper. "Maybe I have brainwashed them. You know how crazy that is? If I was that smart, I would brainwash 20 of them and we would go win the Stanley Cup. Brainwashing? When I hear that cult stuff, it makes me crazy."
The players, known as the Quinte Four, wound up playing together for the St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League during the 1997-98 season, before they were traded as a pack in a controversial deal to the Barrie Colts in 1999.
Majors management reportedly didn't approve of the influence Frost had over the players, an accusation that has repeatedly been made against him over the years.
Despite those allegations, the players remained resolute in vowing their allegiance to the agent.
Danton defended Frost as part of a statement he issued while in prison, thanking him for his support. Danton then went on to denounce his family, whom he has been estranged from, saying: "I have changed my last name to fully distance myself from the Jeffersons and in no means have had or will have anything to do with them in the future."
Upon hearing the statement, Stephen Jefferson, Danton's father, responded: "I'm really hurt by it. His mother will be floored. That's Dave Frost talking."
Frost resigned as a player agent last December and is reportedly no longer involved in junior hockey.
In Aug. 2006, Ontario police charged Frost with 12 counts of sexual exploitation and one count of assault involving seven teenagers - four males and three females between the ages of 14 and 16.
The arrest followed a two-year investigation initiated after complaints were received.