1942 - 2015
Danny was born and raised in Midland and left his hometown at a young age to pursue a career in hockey. His work as a trainer in hockey from 1963 to 1975 included time with the:
- Kitchener Rangers - Ontario Hockey Association
- Johnstown Jets - Eastern Hockey League
- Memphis Red Wings - Central Hockey League
- Pittsburgh Hornets - American League (Calder Cup winners that year)
- Los Angeles Kings - NHL (First Year the team came into the league.under coach Red Kelly)
- Kansas City Blues - Central Hockey Leaguev
- Toronto Maple Leafs NHL (Helped out friend and Midland Native Guy Kinnear for a season)
- Oklahoma City Blazers - Central Hockey League (Maple Leafs farm team)
- St. Louis Blues - NHL (Coach Scotty Bowman) (Danny was on the bench when Bobby Orr scored that famous goal!)
- Kansas City Scouts - NHL
At the start of the 1964-65 season, Danny moved to the Detroit Red Wings’ affiliate team, the Johnstown Jets of the Eastern Hockey League. For the 1965-66 season, Danny was promoted to the Memphis Wings under the guidance of the legendary Sid Abel. The next season, Baz Bastien recruited him for the American Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Hornets, where he worked with players such as Billy Harris, Pete Mahovlich, Andy Bathgate, and Doug Harvey. The Hornets won the league championship Calder Cup and, the following season, Pittsburgh joined the National Hockey League.
In 1967-68, he became the first-ever assistant trainer for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Red Kelly was the coach and Danny became good friends and roommate to Hall of Fame goalie Terry Sawchuk. Danny would spend another year in L.A. with the Kings, leaving after the 1968-69 season.
In 1970, Danny became the head trainer for the Kansas City Blues of the Central Hockey League. It was early in that season that Danny was called up to the Blues’ parent club in St. Louis. Their assistant trainer had to have emergency surgery and they need him to fill in. Danny headed back to Kansas City in mid-March. Because Kansas City did not make the playoffs in that 1970-71season, Danny was called back up to the parent team in St. Louis as they were now in the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins and they needed an extra hand. Danny was on the St. Louis bench to witness that famous goal scored by Bobby Orr. Yes, Danny got to see that goal firsthand! Unfortunately, that memorable goal would spoil his chances of owning a Stanley Cup ring. Danny spent the next season, 1971-72, with the Kansas City Blues, where he witnessed Michel Plasse become the first goalie in the history of professional hockey to be credited with scoring a goal.
In 1972-73, Danny joined his good friend Guy Kinnear for a one-year stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The following season, Kinnear asked Danny to join the Leafs’ new farm team in Oklahoma City as head trainer. He gladly accepted, but was there for only one season. It was then that Danny finally had enough of the grind, tired of the travel and living out of his suitcase. He decided he had been away from Midland long enough. So, in the summer of 1975, he moved home and married his girlfriend, Margret Jane Adams.
His time away from professional hockey was very short-lived. In the fall of 1975, at the request of Sid Abel and Baz Bastien, he agreed to join the short-lived NHL expansion team, the Kansas City Scouts. Their head trainer at the time had passed away unexpectedly so Danny agreed to help, as Bastien and Abel had done so much for him in the early years. After the 1975-76 season, the team folded and Danny was more than happy to call it quits and move home for good. He came back to Midland in the spring of 1976 and opened a sports store called Olympia Sports. He ran the shop for almost 40 years until his passing in the summer of 2015.
Danny was a true friend and supporter of Midland Minor Hockey. He served on the executive for more than a decade and became a lifetime member of the organization.
He was inducted into the Midland Sports Hall of Fame in the Builder category in the year 2000.