Tony DeAngelo represents one half of one of the more lopsided trades against the Rangers in recent years. As part of the Derek Stepan deal, DeAngelo was going to be counted upon to usher in the new era of Rangers defensemen. He didn’t stick with Alain Vigneault, but with a new coach and a strong preseason, this was to be DeAngelo’s chance to prove himself at the NHL level.
Through eight games this season, DeAngelo has dressed for just two games, and one was him dressing as a forward. He has a pair of assists in those games, which is his job. However despite the points, DeAngelo has yet to stick in the lineup.
David Quinn’s job is to develop youngsters. However that doesn’t always mean playing time. Quinn called out DeAngelo, stating he needs to give a more consistent effort and be better in order to earn his role. There are obviously pieces of information we are not privy to, but that quote is pretty damning.
DeAngelo’s on-ice attitude has been something that has plagued his reputation. Tampa Bay drafted him and cut bait pretty quickly. Arizona appeared to be more than eager to dump him as well. Now on his third team –all before his 22nd birthday– time is running out for the young defenseman. We don’t know if this is the case, but to be called out by Quinn leads us to believe that it is indeed his attitude and consistency (effort) is the biggest concern.
The skill, at least offensively, is there. However Neal Pionk appears to have beaten him out for that last RD spot. Adam McQuaid is getting more time than DeAngelo. It appears that if not for his injury, Frederik Claesson was ahead of DeAngelo as well. That makes DeAngelo the 8D on a team that is trying to develop youth. Regardless of how you view playing time in a rebuild, the fact that a coach who specializes in developing players isn’t playing DeAngelo is a giant red flag.
DeAngelo’s Rangers future is a question mark at the moment. It was a question mark at the start of the season, but is even bigger now that he isn’t getting regular playing time. Even if his future isn’t on the blue line, and a transition to winger is in the future, it won’t matter if he can’t put together 60 minutes of consistent effort. Or at least something that shows Quinn he is ready to contribute regularly.
Or maybe this is all just part of Quinn’s development plan. Tough love can work as long as there is accountability. Quinn is the supposed development specialist, but time is certainly running out for DeAngelo in New York.