Mailbag: Left handed defenders; Tony DeAngelo’s status

We only got two questions while we were down, and I wasn’t going to forget about them. As always, use the widget on the right to send us questions, and we will answer them in the mailbag.

Tim asks: Do hockey players have their versions of “switch hitters” where defensemen move from the right side to left side, and vice versa, regardless of handedness?

So while you won’t see a natural righty grab a lefty stick, the whole “left defense vs. right defense” is a bit overblown. Sure, it’s nice to have three lefties and three righties and have them complement each other nicely, but it’s really not needed.

There are a lot of pros/cons of having a lefty on the left or a lefty on the right. Generally though, a lefty on the left makes it easier to defend and makes safer outlet passes along the boards. A righty on the left side makes for better stretch passes and better one-timer positioning. It’s a give and take, really.

In the end, I’ll take better players on their off-side than inferior players because they just happen to be lefties/righties.

Dave asks: What’s the deal with Tony DeAngelo? Is he going to sign?

This was sent a while ago, and I didn’t expect to be able to answer it because I had hoped he would sign before the preseason. Yet here we are, and he isn’t signed. The Rangers aren’t moving off their qualifying offer, and DeAngelo wants term and more money. Can’t really fault either side.

I will have a much more detailed post on this, but there is no real reason for either side to budge right now. The Rangers have all the leverage, and DeAngelo is playing the only card in his deck. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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