Danielson steps down as Mintos head coach

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Mintos head coach Danton Danielson keeps an eye on the play during a pre-season contest against the Saskatoon Blazers at the Art Hauser Centre in 2019.

It was a day of mixed emotions for Danton Danielson on Friday as the Prince Albert Mintos announced that he was stepping down from his head coach duties.

Danielson will be moving back to Saskatoon with his young family as his wife resumes her job in the city.

“It’s been a really difficult few weeks as my wife and I have been talking through our next steps and what’s next for our lives,” Danielson said.

“From the hockey side of things, the Mintos are in really good shape and I’m sad to be leaving, but I think this is the right decision for me and the family at this time, especially with where things are at for our jobs and for our young kids.”

Danielson took over coaching duties from Ken Morrison in March 2019 after serving as the bench boss for the Saskatoon Outlaws Bantam AA program.

After reaching the quarter-final round at the Mac’s Tournament in Calgary in Dec. 2019, the Mintos finished sixth in the then-named Midget AAA standings last year but were swept in the quarter-final round by the Saskatoon Contacts.

During this year’s shortened campaign, the Mintos had a 1-3 record before Under-18 AAA play was brought to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t think it (coaching at the Under-18 AAA level) was much different than I expected it would be going in,” Danielson said. “I think we did a lot of good things here in Prince Albert and we did a good job as a staff of handling all of the challenges that came our way.”

When it comes to his coaching future, Danielson doesn’t feel that he’s done being involved in hockey, but it will take a perfect fit to get back on the ice.

“It would have to be something in or close to Saskatoon where we are living,” Danielson said. “I still have a desire to coach and I think I have more of an interest in it now after being involved with a program like the Mintos.”

Mintos team manager Kalen Wright said on Friday that the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.