As of Tuesday night, it became highly rumored that the Carolina Hurricanes were considering signing controversial defenseman Tony DeAngelo, and they did just that on Wednesday, agreeing on a one-year, $1 million contract.
From a playing perspective, this deal is an absolute bargain for the Hurricanes. While his defensive play isn’t elite, his offensive abilities certainly are, proven by his 2019-20 season in which he recorded career highs of 15 goals and 53 points in 68 games. The powerplay specialist has always been known for his offensive skill, and was taken 19th overall back in 2014 as a result.
Related: Phillip Danault Signs With Los Angeles Kings as UFA
Plenty of Baggage
As mentioned, from a hockey perspective this is a fantastic deal. The prior contract the 25-year-old had signed was a two-year deal with a cap hit of $4.8 million, and likely would have been much lengthier and an even higher average annual value had it not been for his many off ice incidents.
Since his junior hockey career, DeAngelo has made headlines for all the wrong reasons, and was twice suspended for derogatory and racist comments, one of which was made towards his teammate. At the time he was drafted by the Lightning, it was clear he had the talent to be taken much higher in the first-round but many teams avoided him due to his questionable character. Bolts general manager Steve Yzerman however said he believed DeAngelo was past these issues and was happy to have him be apart of the organization.
Clearly, things changed and after a season in the AHL where he was healthy scratched due to behavioral issues the Lightning decided they had seen enough and sent him to the Arizona Coyotes. In his short time in the desert he received a three game suspension for physical assault of a referee and was once again traded the next offseason, this time to the Rangers.
While with the Rangers, DeAngelo’s on ice productivity skyrocketed, but he was still causing many issues off the ice, mainly from his Twitter feed which made it clear he was a major Donald Trump supporter. Often times he got into verbal spats with fans regarding politics, and also made a number of controversial claims, including suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic was a set up.
It was being reported heading into the 2020-21 season that the Rangers brass was growing tired of DeAngelo, who refused to stop posting political messages on his social media despite the team asking him not to. The final straw however came after a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins where his team lost 5-4 in overtime. Immediately after the game, he made it clear he wasn’t happy with the performance of goaltender Alexandar Georgiev which resulted in a physical altercation, and was placed on waivers shortly after.
DeAngelo was forced to miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season and was bought out last week. There hasn’t been much noise from DeAngelo or his camp since the Rangers booted him from the team, and perhaps that is a good thing. Many of his problems seemed to stem from his social media, and he has been much quieter on that front, deleting his Twitter all together. Hopefully for both his and the Canes sake he has taken some time to reflect and grown up, but regardless this signing has angered many people and that anger won’t go away anytime soon.
Next: Tampa Bay Lightning Extend Brayden Point to 8-Year Extension
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