Irresponsible Rumormongering

Does the Darnell Nurse contract impact Tony DeAngelo’s contract demands?

Very similar defensemen with very dissimilar contracts

The Edmonton Oilers signed key restricted free agent defenseman yesterday afternoon to a two year, $5.6 million per year contract. The 25-year-old top pairing defenseman put up career highs last season of 10-31-41, and currently has 4-20-24 in 55 games this season. These kinds of numbers and stats should look familiar.

Tony DeAngelo, he of 24 years old, is enjoying a career year himself. Currently sitting pretty at 13-29-42 in 54 games, DeAngelo also has an expiring contract this season. He’s also the top stat producing defenseman on the Rangers. The DeAngelo camp is certainly taking note of this contract.

There are many similarities between Nurse and DeAngelo. The points, the age, the contract status. There is one key difference though, and that is the second contract. Nurse was on the second year of a $3.2 million per year contract. DeAngelo’s current contract is a one-year, $925,000 deal, less than a third of what Nurse was making. Believe it or not, that will play a role.

On a side by side comparison, Nurse and DeAngelo are nearly identical, although DeAngelo is having a better defensive season. This encompasses all the major advanced stats that we would list for comparison, so to say DeAngelo is having a better season this year isn’t a stretch.

What DeAngelo doesn’t have going for him, as mentioned above, is the contract history. The $5.6 million extension for Nurse is a $2.4 million increase on his current salary. If DeAngelo were to get the same, it would be a $4.7 million increase. While that may not seem like it matters, especially since DeAngelo is having a better season, it does for arbitration.

DeAngelo’s camp is going to look at this contract as the barometer for their client, and DeAngelo himself is probably seeing dollar signs. He’s on pace for 60 points, something Nurse never hit. He may not have liked being forced to take his qualifying offer, but it is going to pay off for him. And the risk the Rangers took is coming back to bite them.

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      • uh, he’s an RFA.

        He signed a one year at $925,000, laughing and crying at the same time, while he signed the contract. Because, oh yeah, he had no choice.

    • Despite the bad reaction, I think your suggestion is about right, maybe a tiny bit high.

      The key decision for the Rangers is whether to offer a two year bridge deal, as you suggest, or a longer term deal. If it is longer, the Rangers will certainly need to give Tony a contract as good or better than they gave Skjei last year. IMO, the longer term deal may be better, but the Rangers may simply not be able to squeeze it in in the current cap situation.

      Note to all those who expect Tony to cash in big: the Rangers control him until he is 27. He is arbitration eligible, but he does not hold all the cards. If he actually goes to arbitration, he’ll get less than $4M and still not be a UFA next year.

      • ADA’s had a great year, but it’s ONE year. A 2 year bridge is about right and then he can cash in after that.

        I would be shocked if the Rangers gave him a long-term deal.

        Yeah, some fans don’t know what “RFA” means. Even with arb rights.

  • He turned into a better defensive player this year. I would give him the same contract we gave Shjie and he can play on the left also.we are going to have the best defense men in the league .we have to pay great goalies and defense men if we want the Stanley cup

  • I think Tony D is going to get a well deserved handsome raise. It’ll be north of what Nurse and Skjei signed for, because neither of those two have scored as many points as Tony D has this season. A good contract for both parties would be 4 yrs/6 mil per year. I don’t know if it can can done, but ADA is what the Rangers hoped they were getting with Boyle, Yandle and Shatty. They should try to lock him up…the sooner the better.

    • I think the price is about right $6mil but he is likely to have the leverage for a 5th year. And I would agree as 3-5 years from now should be this teams prime.

  • Darnell Nurse is a decent d-man, but he really can’t carry ADA’s jock strap. Tony, paired with Fox next season, with Miller & Trouba, and Lindgren with Lindqvest would be a solid defense, if not one of the best in the entire NHL. Tony should get Skjei type of money, for 5 years, and Brady should be traded this year to get the necessary cap space to pay Tony!!!!!!!

    With the proposed defense as posted above, the issue will be can we get some scoring wings, and somewhat bigger guys to play the fourth line, with a load of grit? If they can, watch out NHL, the Rangers will be for real!!!!!!!!

    • Miller is still a sophomore and he’s 19 or 20?has anyone heard that he is supposed to be nhl ready next season? I thought he was supposed to be a few years off still, and the rangers are prepared to wait for him to develop a bit longer? I recall Chris Drury said the rangers are content with his progress so far. Anyone heard otherwise?

      • Out of curiosity, does anyone here have any inkling of where Miller and Lundqvist will be next year? Will either sign with the Rangers – or stay where they are?

      • I don’t recall where I read it but Miller stated he may come out after this year, that’s why I named him in the original post!!!!!!!!!

    • …and as the saying goes, “Defense wins championships”.
      (Man! That would be a HECKUVA good defense, Walt! Those pairings would be exciting!)

        • Remember that we have heard that the word around the League has been, since last season, and more so the beginning of this season, that the NY Rangers have the best up-and-coming young talent in the entire NHL.

  • I’m not seeing how DeAngelo’s 42 points is similar to Nurse at 24 points….? Seems to be a bit of difference between the two, maybe it’s just me.

    I don’t think Tony is going to be nice or understanding with his next contract, and nor should he be. They played games with him this past summer. And now Tony is going to get paid, but unfortunately probably not in NY. I know they had different rights in their deals. But I would’ve much rather bridged Tony D at $3MM+, than Buchnevich. Unfortunately Buch just ain’t gonna make it here long- term. Kakko probably would have already bumped him out of the top 6 if Quinn wasn’t sheltering that poor kid so damn much.

    Just a shame though that we traded for him and developed Tony into exactly what he was expected to be, and now we’re gonna watch him have his best years elsewhere. They better hope that don’t have another Lias somewhere in these young d-men we’re all banking on coming up in the next couple of seasons.

  • AD, CK need to go. Their trade value so high right now.
    I would keep RS at a discount, he seems to have good chemistry with Panarin. AD imo might turn out to be Brendan Smith. Good for a showing then bottoms out.

    In a perfect world, I would bridged AD, then extend contract when Staal’s gone.

    • I disagree, Steve. Even with their values considered high what returns are we talking about in reality? Say the Bruins trade for CK. There’s rumors they would go hard and give up their 1st rnd pick and maybe DeBrusk. That’s a 28th (or higher) pick and DeBrusk-a 20 goal/50 pt left winger, who is a RFA next year. It would be a big trade, but I think I’d rather keep CK. He’s hard to replace as long as he’s playing like he has since the holidays.

      I don’t wanna even think of the return for Tony D. Whatever it is it wouldn’t be enough. They guy is on his way to becoming a star player.

      BTW-I just read Pionk’s stats for this season-6 goals/37 pts, plus 6 and is Jets’ PP QB. Can u imagine Tony D’s stats if he’s featured in the right system? Keep Tony and keep CK.

    • Then what Steve? Continue to add more prosepects……does not guarantee championships….You need to keep these two guys and add to our core…I do not think we are that far off as long as the D and structure get tweaked…..Our goaltending situation looks solid…

    • We need to have a CORE in place: both of veteran leadership and toughness. Both Kreider and DeAngelo are those kind of players that you would like to build a team around.

      • Sorry folks, but you’re delusional if you think we’re cup contenders this year or next.

        CORE? The Core is going to be Panarin, Trouba, Shesterkin, Mika, and Kaako. The first two since rangers invested in them, good luck finding a trade partner for them. The money you save by not signing CK and AD will go to free agency as you add pieces down the road. CK was part of the younger core (callahan, hagelin, etc)

        I’m not convinced AD will become a 1st pair defense ala Carlson, Weber,, Doughty, etc.

  • IMO, this is the biggest problem Gorton has. DeAngelo is arb eligible but how the heck can JG offer arbitration? If Tony submits an amount that is untenable Gorton can’t walk away. If ADA elects arb (which he will) and again if it’s a high amount and he wins does Gorton walk away and lose him for nothing? Does Tony not elect arb (I don’t think so) and hope to entertain offer sheets which Gorton probably can’t match… but we do get compensated.

    I think I’m correct in this process… and this is why I think there is a fair chance he gets traded, which I would hate, DeAngelo has played himself into a heck of a nice situation (for him)! Gorton must clear cap space and those of us that want both Kreider and ADA next season might be pipe-dreaming.

    • The only way to keep them both is a trade of Skjei. He must be packaged with someone else to open enough cap space.

      • Agreed, but the Rangers have to get creative and play one of their RDs on the left side for this to work. There’s just too much imbalance talent wise between the left and right side of the D, something has to give if the Rangers plan on keeping Deangelo around long term.

  • Here’s my problem with stats in hockey there’s to many variables. In baseball we all hit against the same pictures. In hockey a 3D pairing isn’t playing against the other teams top players except maybe on the road. How do you give big money to a guy who plays against 3rd line players. Now on to AD always liked his game which wasn’t developed under AV. I say find away to keep him within reason. We have young defensiveman coming and one or two will put up good offensive numbers. Good problem to have but you can’t get it wrong.


      I had to laugh when I read that AV didn’t develop ADA. Can anyone think of any player Bozo developed??????? Great post by the way!!!!!!

  • I heard that Columbus lost Seth Jones to injury last night and the Flames put Harmonic on IR and also lost Giordano. Maybe Rangers can trade Skjei and his contract to one of them and free up $$$ for CK or Tony D.?

    • Lots of D injuries happening right now all over the league. Toronto has a rookie 3rd D pair playing, one bad week for them and Dubas will likely make a panic trade for a defenseman. They still need a goalie for next season too. Could see a blockbuster happening with them.

  • First, don’t get me wrong. I really like ADA as a player, and I’m coming around to liking him as an individual as well, and I REALLY do hope that the Rangers can keep him. However, he is NOT indispensable, any more than Kreider (who I also want to stay in NY) is. The same arguments can be made for either trading and keeping him are the ones that can be made for CK. He’s an excellent player, and definitely adds to the team. He’s ALSO an excellent trade pick who would bring back a really nice return in a deal. We all know that anybody can be moved, if the price is right. It’s all going to come down to what deal can be made, for either player, that most improves the Rangers over the next few years, and that means that the incoming talent has to be really good, like top line or top D-pair good, and good NOW, in the case of of either CK or ADA.

    • I think you are looking at this from the wrong angle. The premise of everything the FO does in the next two weeks should be based around a run for the Cup in 2-3 seasons from now. I firmly believe both can bring back significant value but is that value or our ability to get the right Free Agents in the next 2 off seasons going to replace that value immediately? Not if they are middle 6 fowards and picks. Keep in mind that Kreider and DA are known quantities in how they fit into this roster. Another words the FO priority is to try and figure out a way to keep both without killing the bank from 22/23 season onwards.

      It all starts with trading Skjei first. Then sign DA, and then finally see if Kreider’s contract works into the plan.

  • DeAngelo and Nurse are not similar players – whether the numbers say so or not. DeAngelo appears to be one of the better offensive defensemen in the league. He is suspect in his own end, doesn’t play on the PK BUT appears to be getting better. Darnell Nurse is a big strong guy with the skills to be a shut down defenseman, but someone who can also score (though not nearly at Tony’s level).

    One can argue that Tony is similarly valuable – or even more valuable – but the two players bring very different skill sets to the dance.

  • If ADA played with McDavid and Draisatl how many points would he have? Nurse ain’t all that, but once again it’s a question of Edmonton not really having any leverage because their depth kind of sucks and it’s … well it’s Edmonton, a hop skip and small jump to the tundra.

    4-5 years @ $5-6M …. and see what Skjei can get you on the open market. He’s not half as bad as some make him out to be, but he does have some bad stretches —- and with Skjei the stretches are just a bit too long for my liking. That said I can live with Skjei … and the priority should be to move (buyout, retire) Smith and Staal to really open up the left side and insert ADA if Lundkvist and/or Keane are REALLY ready. Re: K’Andre Miller, I think he’s a couple of years away … I would not rush him at all.

    Re: Trouba, he’s a good physical presence when he wants to be. I think he’s still getting accustomed to NY and Ruff’s exceptional defensive system (satire) … that said I would listen to offers, but an $8M contract isn’t easy to move. Nylander (ugh, another RW) for Trouba perhaps??? Then since Nylander is another RW that allows us to move Buch, if not this year then the following year.

    • Don’t get me wrong. I would love to trade Staal or Smith. It would be great if Marc retired (I very much doubt Smith will). But if neither of those things happens, a buyout is not very attractive. In the case of Smith, it is downright foolish as it increases the 2021-2022 cap hit by more than you save next year.

      The Rangers need to be focused long term and the relevant contracts are Trouba and Skjei. Since I do not picture Skjei as one of the top six Ranger defenseman two-three years down the road, I see his contract as a far bigger issue than any of the contracts which expire next year.

      The Trouba contract is an even bigger issue of course, but it is less clear if we actually want to escape it. In an ominous sign, my spell-check changed Trouba to Trouble.

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