Diablo Posted October 23, 2002 Share Posted October 23, 2002 http://www.app.com/app2001/story/0,21133,6...,629890,00.html By CHRIS BALDWIN STAFF WRITER DULUTH, Ga. -- Tony Soprano isn't the only one who holds "sit-downs." General manager Lou Lamoriello and disgruntled Devil Mike Danton planned a "sit-down" to discuss the emotional rookie's suddenly cloudy future with the hockey team, according to Danton's agent, David Frost. "I'm hoping it gets resolved by morning," Frost said last night from his office. "Lou is flying in for the 'sit-down' and I'm hoping he and Mike can come up with a solution before I have to get involved." Frost is confident it won't get to the point where he needs to involve himself. That point, Frost said, will come if it's decided Danton can't play for coach Pat Burns and therefore must be traded. "This is a little blip -- something that only needs to be talked out within the framework of the team -- and I'm hoping it's handled that way," Frost said. This little blip is threatening to turn into a major headache. It started when Danton went off on Saturday night about being scratched in the Carolina game, charging among other things that he felt like he was being punished after playing hard. Three days later, with no end to the Danton Drama in sight, the meeting was arranged. All this hovers over the well-rested Devils' chance to fatten their record against the winless Thrashers tonight. While a "sit-down" with Lamoriello hardly seems like a pleasant prospect, Frost insisted it's what Danton wanted all along. "Lou and Mike are a lot alike," Frost said. "They're both fiery, competitive guys who only want to win. I think that's why Lou really values Mike and the things he can do." After the Devils' practice yesterday, Danton was anything but relaxed about the situation. When approached, Danton started shouting before a question could be asked. "I have nothing to say!" Danton said. "Nothing to say. Ask the coach. Go talk to the coach if you want." The coach appeared more amused than anything by the rambunctious rebel making noise in his locker room. "I don't worry about that stuff," Burns said. "I've been around too long to be worried about a 22-year-old getting upset at the coach. If I have to worry about that I might as well just get out (of coaching) and do something else." Some of Danton's teammates are worrying about the 22-year-old, who spent all of last season butting heads with Lamoriello. When Danton flew to California to get a second medical opinion on an abdominal injury rather than report to Albany, where the Devils assigned him for rehab in the fall of 2001, Lamoriello suspended him. That touched off a war of words, including Danton's "I'm not drinking Lou's Kool-Aid" line. Now, just four games into this season, there's the "sit-down." "As a young kid you can get caught up in the emotions of everything," 18-year NHL veteran Ken Daneyko said. "You don't realize that in an 82-game schedule there are going to be nights you're out of the lineup whether you like it or not. "The coach and the organization's looking at the big picture, not just you. Mike just has to understand it's nothing personal." Frost said Danton's been reassured by "the support of his teammates and the assistant coaches." Burns benched Danton -- the fourth-line center -- on Saturday because he wanted to get Steve Guolla some game action before he got too rusty. Daneyko was also a healthy scratch that night. Frost said he'd be "surprised" if Danton wasn't in tonight's lineup and does not expect a fine or other punishment. "I don't see how they could," Frost said. "Mike just spoke his mind. Maybe he was a little fiery in his comments, but that's who Mike Danton is. He is the same off the ice as he is on. Mike just wants to have some things clarified, to clear the air." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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