The New York Rangers placed frequent lightning rod for controversy Tony DeAngelo on waivers Sunday afternoon, and since then allegations about a toxic situation leading to this moment have come out, including an incident involving his teammates after their last game on Saturday. Some allegations are being refuted publicly by the various parties involved, not that those refutations are doing anything to quell more rumours from emerging which all seem to have a partial element of truth to them.
The Rangers organization itself has yet to officially confirm what really happened Saturday night, or possibly earlier.
Here’s what we know as of Sunday: The Rangers have previously given DeAngelo multiple warnings for conduct and made him a healthy scratch in his time there because of both on and off-ice behaviour, and poor play. They are reported to have been looking to trade him since at least two seasons ago. Despite that, they also signed him to a new two year contract in October as an RFA with a $4.8 million AAV. Since then, he has appeared in six of their eight games, and has earned only one assist and no goals.
The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was a combination of poor play in last Saturday’s game—a game where DeAngelo was on the ice for four of the Penguins’ five goals—and a possibly related altercation between him and Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev after the game in the underground portion of the Madison Square Garden.
This is what The Athletic reports happened from the link above:
Three sources have confirmed to The Athletic that there was indeed an altercation involving DeAngelo and goalie Alexandar Georgiev in the tunnel that leads to the Rangers’ locker room. Incidentally, Georgiev was held out of practice for “maintenance” on Sunday. The altercation was quickly broken up.
Other sources allege that confrontation was so heated that it resulted in another Rangers player punching DeAngelo in the face. Most are looking at screenshots of Chris Kreider’s hand from the post-game press conference where it looks like his knuckles are freshly bruised, but some say that happened during the game, and it was Georgiev who punched DeAngelo.
According to Blueshirt Banter, something else may have also contributed to the boiling point being reached:
Furthermore, three separate sources independently confirmed to Blueshirt Banter that there was concern at various levels of the organization regarding DeAngelo’s treatment of rookie defenseman K’Andre Miller. Sources did not wish to go on the record with specific examples but indicated that it was an issue that caught the attention and ire of multiple players in the organization. Additionally, sources say tension has been building up in the locker room prior to the incident on Saturday night.
They further reported that DeAngelo kept the puck from Miller’s first NHL goal, however, as reported by ESPN, sources with the Rangers and K’Andre Miller’s camp refute that allegation.
Miller’s agent Ian Pulver told ESPN: “It’s K’Andre’s understanding that the NYR equipment manager, or whoever is responsible for getting it, has the puck and that it’s being framed like other first goals. At no time did he think otherwise.”
However, there are two things that are puzzling about this explanation. First, is a picture of Alexis Lafreniere, the Rangers’ other noteworthy rookie this year, taken last week with his first NHL goal puck.
It just is so, so right. pic.twitter.com/2mxy7WjCGJ— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 29, 2021
This is an almost universally common picture of a rookie taken after he scores his first NHL goal(s), but no such picture of Miller was ever published. The quote from his agent makes it sound like neither Miller nor anyone in his camp has actually ever received the puck or is completely certain where it is, but just assume it is away being framed.
What is being openly discussed now is that, in any case, DeAngelo’s career on the Rangers is over. Larry Brooks of the New York Post clarified an aspect of waivers:
DeAngelo is on regular waivers as opposed to unconditional waivers, The Post has learned. According to the CBA, being placed on and clearing unconditional waivers are necessary for a team to be able to terminate a player’s contract.
There does appear to be an exception, according Section 14 of the Standard Players’ Contract that states: “The Club may also terminate this SPC [Standard Player’s Contract] upon written notice to the Player (but only after obtaining Waivers from all other Clubs) if the Player shall at any time: a) fail, neglect or refuse to obey the Club’s rules governing training and conduct of Players if such failure, refusal or neglect should constitute a material breach of this SPC.”
It is unclear whether the Rangers will claim that Saturday night’s incident rises to the level of a material breach. If so, one would expect the NHLPA and DeAngelo’s camp to contest that charge.
He later added in the same article that “all signs are pointing to DeAngelo’s time in New York having expired in a blaze of controversy even if the details of finalizing the divorce are murky.”
The next step is today after noon ET, which is the time the league will formally announce he has cleared waivers. The Rangers have indicated they will further discuss the situation today, but only after that time. They are scheduled to play the Penguins later tonight.
TL:DR; Tony DeAngelo is cancelled. Thoughts and prayers.
ONTO THE LINKS
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AROUND THE HOCKEY WORLD
There will be no suspension hearing for Dillion Dube’s hit on Jesperi Kotkanmiemi from Saturday night, which also received no penalty on the play either:
The Ottawa Senators lost 8-5 to the Edmonton Oilers, in which Draisaitl almost tied a record with 6 assists in one game, and McDavid threw in a paltry 5 points of his own. The best part of the game is that Ottawa had 73% of the expected goal share, but Edmonton went 4 for 5 on the powerplay.
Oilers Leon Draisaitl is the 29th player in NHL history to record 6+ assists in a single game. He is the first player to do so since Eric Lindros had 6 in a game on Feb. 26, 1997— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) February 1, 2021
Ha, can you imagine a flawed team with offensive super stars ekeing out wins against inferior opponents because of a great powerplay but have shitty even strength numbers? That would be terrible to be a fan of such a team.
Have a great Monday everyone!