I understand that this post is a couple of days late, but this still needs to be discussed. The New York Rangers put “defenseman” Tony DeAngelo on waivers on Sunday. He has since cleared waivers and the Rangers will seek to trade him. General Manager, Jeff Gorton, has publicly announced that DeAngelo has played his last game as a Ranger, and perhaps his last in the NHL. There has been a tremendous amount of controversy surrounding DeAngelo the past two weeks. There is a rumored burner account as well as the events of this passed Saturday. I want to make it very clear that I am not a reporter, I do not know exactly what happened, and I will addressing all angles throughout this post.
Controversy and Tony DeAngelo are not new friends. The Rangers knew this when they acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes when they traded Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta a couple of seasons ago. DeAngelo made his NHL debut with the Coyotes during the 2016-2017 season but was shipped to the Rangers after that season. At the time of the trade, DeAngelo was headed to his third franchise before his 22nd birthday. After being drafted in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014, they shipped him to Arizona for Libor Hajek (who would later make his way to the Rangers in the Ryan McDonagh trade).
As I mentioned, DeAngelo has a deeply disturbing past. Back in 2014, he was suspended eight games by the OHL for violating the league’s harrasment, abuse, and diversity policy. What makes matters worse, that was his second suspension that season for violating the same policy. The purpose of the policy is to homophobic, racist, and sexist slurs out of the game. DeAngelo had used slurs against one of his own teammates and was forced to sit out for eight games. DeAngelo was a very highly touted prospect in his draft year, but slipped to the later part of the first round because of his disgusting behavior.
It is widely known in hockey, and now beyond, that DeAngelo is a support of former President Donald Trump. He was very vocal on Twitter during the election process and made his thoughts known when Trump’s account was suspended. Furthermore, he used his Twitter platform to push conspiracies. For example, he has always been vocal about downplaying the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic. He has also used Twitter to voice his displeasure with Rangers fans. He went as far as threatening to fight one after a game.
Coming to a Head
DeAngelo had a career season last year, putting up 53 points. That earned him a bridge deal for two years worth $4.8 million. After taking a stupid misconduct penalty in the first game of the season, David Quinn benched the disgruntled DeAngelo. And he never seemed to get over it. His play has struggled immensely over the course of this young season and it came to a head on Saturday night. DeAngelo and Alex Georgiev had a miscommunication behind the net that ultimately let to Sidney Crosby scoring the game winning goal in OT. After the game, Georgiev was reportedly very upset when DeAngelo made a remark to the goaltender. In response, the goalie reportedly clocked DeAngelo (as he should) and the two needed to be separated by teammates.
It was the next day that the Rangers announced they had waived DeAngelo and his burner was not happy.
This is Cancel Culture in full effect . https://t.co/w1EN3rXWK1
— NYRFan (@NYRFan92360244) January 31, 2021
As the resident Rangers fan here at CouchGuy, I feel it is important to put my thoughts out there. I want to make it clear as well that I am speaking on my own and do not represent all of CouchGuy on this topic. DeAngelo is a scumbag who should never be allowed to play in the NHL again. He never even should have gotten a chance to play in the NHL in the first place. He is the classic example of talent outweighs behavior. As long as he was playing well, it didn’t matter what he said or did to the Rangers (it seemed like).
The Rangers have been very poor at PR and crisis control. They took way too long to comment on the incident during K’Andre Miller’s introductory Zoom, as well as being the second to last team in the NHL to comment on the Black Lives Matter protests from this past summer. The Rangers have not been handling these situations well at all and need to be called out on it. Their defense of DeAngelo is laughable and needs to be shamed. Who cares about buffing up his trade value? He should never play in the NHL again.
The NHL desperately needs to change. For a sport that claims it is for everyone, it cannot be for everyone as long as people like Tony DeAngelo are around. I am glad he has played his last game for the Rangers. It should have never have taken this long, or at all for that matter. There is no place for people like DeAngelo in this world. Hockey is a better sport without him.
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-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)