The New York Rangers are totally done with defenceman Tony DeAngelo – and so is everyone else. Probably.
The blueliner went unclaimed by all 30 other NHL teams after he was placed on waivers and Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said DeAngelo would not be back with the team.
Gorton confirmed what was widely reported: an incident took place following Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. There was some sort of confrontation between DeAngelo and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev and the Rangers organization treated it as a “final straw.”
The Rangers had just signed DeAngelo to a two-year contract worth $9.6 million in October. The team isn’t permitted to buy out their player during the season, but they can retain a bit of salary in a trade to sweeten the pot.
The issue here is finding a fit for a defenceman nobody seems to want right now.
According to Gorton, DeAngelo struggled to “move on” after he was made a healthy scratch earlier in the season. In the season opener, head coach David Quinn benched him after taking a questionable penalty. Following that, the defenceman was “put on alert” by the organization.
“I told him if his name came up in anything at all that he would be on waivers,” Gorton said. “I felt like I had to stay true to my word, the organization’s word.”
Gorton reiterated that it didn’t come down to any single incident and noted that the team was looking to put the issue behind them.
Team president John Davidson said the rumours of DeAngelo not getting along with rookie K’Andre Miller weren’t true and added that his social media activity were not to blame for his ouster.
“Sometimes he gets in his own way, which has happened again, and we had to make it clear that if something came up again that something’s going to happen,” Davidson said. “Something happened again.”
DeAngelo was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning 19th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but behavioural issues followed him wherever he went. The book on him was always related to an “attitude,” even as his on-ice game showed signs of promise. Back in his OHL days, handling DeAngelo’s attitude was once referenced as a “gong show.”
Whether those issues may have finally been enough for him to have played his last game in the NHL remains to be seen, as the Rangers could still package up a trade and get something for their investment.
Right now, DeAngelo is at home awaiting the next move. But his days on Broadway are done.
Pic: Getty Images