Tony DeAngelo’s future in New York is in question, and it has nothing to do with his contract

This was written before DeAngelo signed his deal. Most of it still applies.

Even before Tony DeAngelo’s holdout began, there were questions about his long term future in New York. Before the offseason, DeAngelo was clearly the best RD on the Rangers and looked to be on the verge of cementing his role in the lineup. Then the Rangers traded for both Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba.

The trade for both pushes DeAngelo down to what will likely be the 3RD spot. It also likely pushes him out of the PP1 role, and possibly out of the powerplay all together. Now a lot of that has to do with how Fox plays, but there are clear signs that the Rangers’ brass likes Fox’s game over DeAnglo’s.

But DeAngelo’s future obviously extends beyond this season. The Blueshirts have great prospects in both K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist expected to make the roster in the not so distant future. Lundkvist plays the right side, making that a crowded blue line. It’s certainly a good problem to have, but maybe not one that DeAngelo is too keen on.

For DeAngelo, this might be his only chance to really cash in on a contract. His one-year qualifying offer at around $900,000 isn’t really his definition of cashing it in. He played very well last year once he got ice time, and he wants the money. The thing is, the Rangers are his third club by the age of 23, he has questionable antics both on and off the ice, and it’s only 61 games of solid, consistent play. All of that comes to light in negotiations.

Add in where the Rangers stand in terms of their prospects, and they may not want to take a risk on DeAngelo. Heck, it may not even be about a risk. It may just be a numbers game. They may not want to be locked into another multi-year deal when all signs are pointing to there being no room for him on the roster as soon as next season (and admittedly as last as 2-3 years from now).

Neither side has a reason to budge from their contract stance, and this could bleed into a longer stalemate than both sides may like. It’s been a while since the Rangers had a true holdout (Brandon Dubinsky, Marc Staal). In case you were wondering why Joe Morrow was brought to camp, this would be why.

All this, of course, doesn’t matter if Fox doesn’t pan out. Perhaps this has nothing to do with DeAngelo at all. Perhaps this is all about Fox.

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  • Tony will have to perform well to have a job with the club in the future. That is OK because the competition for spots on the club is now starting to be between skilled players and not place holders. That is an indication of how far the Rangers have already come in the rebuilding process.

    • Smart would dictate that they play ADA as the 2nd PP QB and 2nd pairing RD, at least for the first 20 some odd games — then see if there’s a good value trade out there for them. There are a lot of teams that could use Tony’s skills (despite the perception of his character). Unfortunately DQ will probably do what he can to diminish his value. 😉

      As good as Fox has looked so far, we still have to remember he hasn’t gone up against the big boys yet — as a 3rd pairing it lets him lock down his defensive game without the pressure associated with playing up too soon.

  • There are many reasons why Morrow was a good idea. You want seven defensemen with the seventh guy a veteran who doesn’t need ice time to develop. The projected Ranger roster has seven guys. No one else seems likely to be ready and so the roster almost looks set in stone. But what if Hajek and/or Fox is really not ready? You don’t want either of them as the seventh guy and if they are not ready, you don’t want them starting. And what if ADA hadn’t signed? And suppose someone gets hurt? Oh — and it allows an ADA trade sooner rather than later if there is an attractive deal.

    If Morrow looks good, I sign him to a one way contract in any event. If everyone is ready, I send him to Hartford and the worst that can happen, he gets claimed on waivers and you are back where you started. The one way contract costs a little more, but is a good inducement to sign AND discourages waiver claims from poorer teams.

    I would have kept Claesson, but hopefully Morrow is an even better choice for that role.

    Depthwise, I have been unhappy with the Rangers the last two years. This year, I think Gorton has the team well-prepared with Morrow, Haley, McKegg, diGuiseppi and won’t have to fill the roster with pure crap or unready kids. These aren’t great players (bottom of the bench rarely is), but they are NHLers or at least close.

  • We should not all jump to make Fox the 2RD yet. He has ZERO NHL games under his belt. Play Tony at 2RD, and let Fox get some minutes at 3RD and the 2nd PP unit. After 20 games see if there is a market for Tony.

    • If you want ADA to play PP1 to up the trade value and save Trouba for the PK, sure.

      But I’ve seen enough of Fox to know that even with zero NHL games, he’s higher up the pecking order as well.

      This is what evaluators do.

  • I look it this as a nice won for the club. ADA is going to go all out this season, thats a plus for the club.
    He is being paid what we wanted to give him and for the term we wanted too.

    Tanto’s point is also big, a trade to a club that could really use ADA’s skills at deadline …

    Win win baby!!!


  • If his final contract number has been on the table for sometime (per Brooks $925K) and he didn’t take it then he is getting bad advice.

    Here is a guy who was in an awesome position to come into this camp and turn a few heads and show people where his head is at hockey-wise, and he holds out. Not to mention that there are a whole lot of bodies in camp with as much, or more, talent than him and they are gunning for his roster spot.

    I always gave him the benefit of the doubt with his issues, but holding out with zero leverage, after already having a rap as, let’s say – difficult, is just plain stupid. Not to mention selfish. His best bet for a payday is to have a solid year and keep the distractions away. He is O for 1 and he has not even been on the ice.

  • Question?
    Didn’t the Rangers ask for ADA during the trade with Arizona?
    The thing is, the Rangers are his third club by the age of 23
    is not because he was not wanted, just someone wanted him more then the others.

  • The Rangers moved out 2 righty defensemen Shattenpants and Boink during the offseason. With the addition of Trouba, up and comer Fox and now Delangelo signing on, IMO their blueline and PP will be improved over last season.

    • Agreed. I think their defense is going to be much better overall and much better than is commonly speculated. Of course, that will depend to a certain extent on the possession prowess of the forward group, which will be young.

  • The whole time I was reading this post I was thinking exactly what you said in the last line. If ADA proves last year was no fluke, builds upon it and gets even better, keeps his head on straight, and is better than Fox. The Rangers will give him the contract he deserves. If DQ is to be believed he could easily be RD2, by outplaying all others

  • I think the Ranger brass needs to do everything to make ADA, Kreider, and Nemesnikoff look great this season if they aren’t keeping them. That means playing them with our best players all the time. With this deep draft we can get a few good picks to help build our future even better than it is now. It may hurt some of the young guys for part of this season but it’s sure worth it when you think of what we can get when they are traded before the deadline.

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