The New York Rangers haven’t won a playoff round since the 2016-2017 season and are off to a mediocre 4-5-3 start this season. At 5th in a tough Eastern Division, the Rangers need to keep focused in order to end the playoff drought.
A step was made in the right direction when the Rangers waived defenseman Tony DeAngelo stemming from an apparent altercation that happened during a 5-4 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on February 6. What transpired was an exchange between DeAngelo and goaltender Alexander Georgiev while going into the locker room after the game. This incident was confirmed by Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton.
Although the altercation was broken up, Gorton revealed DaAngelo was done with the Rangers, showing a no-nonsense approach in efforts to remove all distractions from the roster. DeAngelo has the chance to sign with any other team, although he still has two years left on a contract worth nearly $5 million per year.
DeAngelo has had a history of causing problems on the ice and he was suspended twice in the OHL. In addition, he was suspended in 2017 while playing for the Arizona Coyotes for abuse of an official. Not only has DeAngelo been a troublemaker, he hasn’t played well, having scored only one point in six games.
Off the ice, DeAngelo has been disciplined by the Rangers for his actions on social media, which recently prompted him to remove his Twitter account. Although only 25- years old, one must wonder if any team will be willing to take a chance on DeAngelo. His best season came in 2019-2020 in which he scored 15 goals and 38 assists in 68 games. In 206 NHL games, DeAngelo has 24 goals and 82 assists.
One thing for certain. The waiving of DeAngelo rids the team of a cancer in the clubhouse and should help unify a team that needs to remain focused to make the postseason.