Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Rangers finally cut ties with Tony DeAngelo: ‘he played his last game’ with the team

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Tony DeAngelo’s term in New York has officially ended.

“Yes, he played his last game for the Rangers,” general manager Jeff Gorton confirmed before New York City hosted the Penguins on Monday night.

The controversial defenseman was waived Sunday afternoon (he cleared Monday) following an incident following the team’s 5-4 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Neither Gorton nor team president John Davidson have confirmed exactly what happened, but numerous reports said DeAngelo and goalkeeper Alexander Georgiev had a physical altercation outside the locker room.

DeAngelo is now part of the Rangers taxi team, but will not be part of the team.

“Look, we had an incident that happened. It’s in our room, we’re dealing with it. It’s one of the ways we’re managing,” Gorton said. “Our team is ready to move on.”

What happened on Saturday was the last straw for the organization.

“It’s tough. I generally like Tony,” said head coach David Quinn, who added he texted DeAngelo on Sunday night without giving details of what had been said. “It’s just difficult. But it’s sport, and it’s unfortunate. You have to move forward and it’s not just as a staff but as a team and an organization. what we have to do every time a player leaves this organization, it doesn’t matter how they leave. “

Being renounced shouldn’t have come as a surprise to DeAngelo. Gorton said he warned DeAngelo at the start of the season that there could be no more problems. The warning came after DeAngelo showed his displeasure at being struck out for the team’s second game. Quinn sat on the defenseman after taking an unruly penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the opener.

“I made that statement to him, something happened and I have to stay true to my word here and the organization’s word that it is time to move on,” Gorton said. “That’s basically what it is. We think switching from Tony is the right thing to do. It’s about winning, and we felt it was a move we needed to do in our bedroom to put us on the path to victory. “

While this is the right decision for the organization now, it is also a long overdue decision. Sure, the 25-year-old DeAngelo had an exceptional season in 2019-20 when he collected 53 points in 68 games, but the New Jersey native also has a long record of misconduct.

He has been suspended three times in the OHL – once for abuse of officials and twice for breaking the league’s policy of keeping “homophobic, racist and sexist language out of the game.”

Despite that, he was drafted 19th overall by the Lightning in 2014. Then-Tampa Bay Chief Executive Officer Steve Yzerman said he believed DeAngelo could “change and grow”. The Lightning traded him in 2016 to the Coyotes before Arizona sent him to New York a year later.

“We did a lot of research, told a lot of people about Tony before we got him,” Gorton noted. “It all came into play when we did that. We did our homework, we felt comfortable.”

DeAngelo also spoke on social media with his political views (he tweeted “What happened to COVID-19?” After the 2020 presidential election) and criticized and discussed with fans (he challenged one to one fight).

Davidson said the defender’s social media presence (DeAngelo is now out of Twitter) did not factor in the decision to sever ties.

“There’s obviously a fine line with social media, but there’s also freedom of speech, and we definitely watch what our players are saying and doing on social media,” said Davidson, who added that he had had a conversation with DeAngelo at one point to discuss life. and its future. “It’s a hard thing to control, but it has nothing to do with it.”

There have also been rumors regarding DeAngelo and his teammates beyond what happened on Saturday night. Quinn, who spoke after Gorton and Davidson did, said DeAngelo was well liked by his teammates and coaches. Davidson, before answering questions, made a statement regarding a blog post that DeAngelo won rookie defenseman K’Andre Miller’s first goal puck in the NHL.

“It’s 100% wrong. There is no truth to this,” Davidson said. He also indicated that the pair had no issues and that the coaching staff had the puck. “For people to write things like that, for others to digest them, that’s just plain wrong. It’s sad, actually.”

Gorton said that while the team is moving forward, they still want to find a place for DeAngelo to continue his career. Rangers signed him to a two-year, $ 9.6 million contract in October while he was a restricted free agent. The organization is unlikely to find a business partner for someone with a cap of $ 4.8 million and attitude issues. Just seven years after its writing, DeAngelo would be part of its fourth organization and it is unlikely that it could be considered a reclamation project at this point.

“It’s a team here, we are building a team,” Gorton added. “We are trying to become a team as fast as possible and I just felt it was becoming a distraction and we are trying to stay true to our word here. We told one player enough is enough. Let’s move on.”


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