good friend Sheldon Keefe.
But that likely changed shortly after the then-15-year-old left his hometown of Brampton, Ont., for the Quinte Hawks tier II junior club in Deseronto, a small town near the north shore of Lake Ontario.
David Frost, who had previously coached Jefferson and a group of talented 11-year-olds on a triple-A team, negotiated with Hawks co-owner Marty Abrams to bring Sheldon Keefe, Shawn Cation, Larry Barron, Darryl Tiveron and Jefferson to Quinte.
Frost had recently been suspended from the Metro Toronto Hockey League for helping to falsify documents that would release his players to Quinte.
Questions about Frost's demanding and controlling ways became known before he arrived in Deseronto. Once there, Ryan Barnes became another of Frost's special players.
Frost not only coached the players in Quinte, but spent countless hours in a hotel with them. Seven years ago, the Bayview Inn was a meeting place for a few select members of the Hawks, including Jefferson, the team's tough guy.
Jefferson and Barnes reportedly would sometimes skip school to spend the day at the hotel. Along with Keefe and Cation, they would become known as the Quinte Four.
There were accusations the players were being brainwashed by Frost, that they did everything he said and that Frost had a powerful hold over the youngsters.
But Frost's obsession with the on-ice performance of his favourite players would later cost him. Frost's tenure behind the Quinte bench lasted less than a full season, after he was charged for punching Tiveron during a game. However, he remained in Deseronto and was said to have instructed the Quinte Four from the stands using hand signals.
Jefferson left the Hawks in 1997 to play one season for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, where observers said he again was subject to Frost's hand gestures from the sidelines.
The next year, he joined Keefe, Cation and Barnes with the Toronto St. Michael's Majors under Frost's guidance.
While there, they kept to themselves following orders by Frost, who was said to still be guiding the players fro m the stands. Using hand signals is a charge that Frost denies to this day.
Frost's control reached such depths that it caused changes in attitude among his players, who began to distance themselves from their teammates.
According to some former Majors, Jefferson was quiet, somewhat anti-social and refused to participate in team functions.
That, coupled with Frost's constant meddling in the players' lives, spelled the end of the Quinte Four at St. Mike's.
On Jan. 11, 1999, the Majors rocked the junior hockey world, shipping all four players to Barrie as part of an eight-player trade.
That summer, Keefe was drafted 47th overall by the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning following a 116-point season.
In 2000, Jefferson was selected 135th overall by New Jersey after scoring 87 points in his final year of junior.
After a short stint with the Devils, Danton was traded to St. Louis on June 21, 2003. The 23-year-old broke training camp with the Blues last September as the team's enforcer and collected 12 points and 141 penalty minutes in a career-high 68 regular-season games. Danton added one goal in five playoff games.
Keefe, also 23, toiled for Tampa Bay's American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey this season after spending parts of the previous three seasons with the Lightning.
He has remained extremely close to Frost, particularly since Danton was arrested. Keefe has issued statements to media defending Danton and attacking the accused's parents.
Barnes, who was drafted by Detroit in 1998, has spent the last two seasons with the Grand Rapid Griffins of the AHL. The 24-year-old dressed for two games with the Red Wings this season.
The undrafted Cation, 24, recently completed his fourth season with the men's hockey team at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B.
agent David Frost
Not much is known about the 36-year-old Frost, and opinions are split about the influence he wields over his young hockey charges. What is known is that Frost was introduced to an 11-year-old Mike Jefferson (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 charged 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 the agent has repeatedly denied.
"I wasn't the target," said Frost. "Once the whole thing shakes down, everyone will understand exactly all of the circumstances of what happened.”
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 banned 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, 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, stating: "I've heard the brainwash stuff, that I brainwash players. 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 he had over the players, an accusation that has repeatedly been levied against Frost over the years.
Despite the allegations over the years, the players remained resolute in vowing their allegiance to the agent.
The charges continue to haunt the agent to this day, but Danton defended Frost as part of a statement he issued on May 8 while in prison, thanking him for his support. Danton then went on to denounce his family, who he has been estranged from, saying that, "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."
It was during his time playing for the Hawks that Danton became involved with agent David Frost, an assistant coach with Quinte, who was later suspended indefinitely by the Ontario Hockey Association and the Metro Toronto Hockey League for incidents on and off the ice.
After splitting his rookie OHL season between Sarnia and the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, Danton was dealt to the Barrie Colts on Jan. 11, 1999 as part of an eight-player trade that included Ryan Barnes, Sheldon Keefe and Shawn Cation.
The Majors reportedly made the trade because of the influence Frost had over the players, who were known as the Quinte Four.
Danton spent two seasons in Barrie, and registered 34 goals and 57 assists in 58 games during the 1999-00 season as the Colts advanced to the Memorial Cup after winning the OHL crown.
Following his breakout campaign with Barrie, Danton was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. However, his pro career got off to a rocky start when the Devils suspended him during the 2001-02 season for refusing to report to the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Albany. He ended up playing only two games for New Jersey that season.
On July 25, 2002, he legally changed his last name to Danton because he wanted to distance himself from his family after alleging "constant physical and emotional abuse" and saying he was raised in squalid conditions.
After scoring two goals in 17 games to start the 2002-03 season, Danton was suspended by the Devils a second time when he again refused a demotion to Albany. A month later, he served the Devils with legal papers, seeking to gain his release from the team. Danton sat at home while New Jersey won the 2003 Stanley Cup.
The St. Louis Blues gave Danton a fresh start, acquiring the physical forward in a trade with the Devils on June 21, 2003. Danton cracked the Blues' lineup out of training camp and ended up posting 12 points in a career-high 68 games during the 2003-04 campaign.
Danton struggled to regain his spot in the Blues' lineup late in the regular season after missing eight games with a shoulder injury, but he played all five playoff games in the Blues-Sharks first-round series, scoring a goal in Game 4 on April 13.
On April 16, just hours after the Blues were ousted from the playoffs, Danton was arrested in San Jose, Calif., when a criminal complaint was filed in a federal court in Illinois. The complaint stated Danton and a woman, 19-year-old Katie Wolfmeyer, allegedly attempted to hire a man to kill a male acquaintance.
· Mike Danton,
a centre with the St. Louis Blues, was arrested in San Jose, Calif.,
on April 16, 2004 just hours after the team was ousted by the Sharks
in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. A criminal complaint filed in
a federal court in Illinois stated that Danton and a woman, 19-year-old
Katie Wolfmeyer, allegedly attempted to hire a man to kill a male acquaintance,
reported to be Danton's lover.