Yesterday, Tony DeAngelo ended his contract holdout, signing a one-year, $925,000 deal. He will return to camp and likely get himself into the lineup before the end of the preseason. As per usual, I have some thoughts.
1. DeAngelo had no leverage, so the signing was inevitable. The kid knows he needs to perform again this season for any sort of contract stability. After all, his future in the NHL may not even be with the Rangers, so getting on the ice is the most important thing for his career at this point in time.
2. The length and dollar amount of the deal isn’t really a surprise, since it had been mentioned numerous times that the Rangers were not going to budge off their qualifying offer to DeAngelo from the summer. The Blueshirts had minimal cap space and needed to make something work. They now have $235k in cap space, which includes Brendan Smith and 14 forwards. They will likely wind up with $1 million in cap space when the season starts.
3. DeAngelo’s spot in the lineup is still a major question. He is in direct competition with Adam Fox for the 2RD spot, the PP QB on the second powerplay, and potentially a future with the Rangers. Many of us are quick to pencil Fox into the 2RD spot, and perhaps that is a little too optimistic given he has no NHL experience. DeAngelo does control his own destiny here, but he needs to perform.
4. Then again, DeAngelo just signed yesterday and Fox, after tonight, will have appeared in two preseason games before DeAngelo even gets two practices. Fox looked good in the first preseason game, but it’s still just preseason. The Fox/DeAngelo competition is a storyline that not many are talking about yet. Maybe it’s because DeAngelo hadn’t signed yet. It will be interesting to see how they both perform. Also worth noting that direct competition is a term we use, but not the players don’t.
5. Last year’s RD went from Shattenkirk-DeAngelo-Pionk to Trouba-Fox-DeAngelo. That’s one hell of an upgrade.