Could Tony DeAngelo be a valuable trade chip in rumors this offseason?

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Yes this is possible (albeit unlikely). Tony DeAngelo could find himself in trade rumors this offseason. Now before you jump down my throat that I hate DeAngelo, let’s set the record straight. On the ice DeAngelo is a great offensive driver. I’ve been on record multiple times that the Rangers are best served moving him to the left side to best utilize his skills. Good? Let’s move on.

The Rangers have a few holes to fill this offseason, most notably holes on the left side of the blue line and potentially down the middle. In this league you need to give to get, especially in a pipe dream Jack Eichel deal. Let’s break this down.

Hockey Reasons

Trade rumors begin and end with logic, and there is logic here. Jacob Trouba is signed long-term and isn’t likely to go anywhere. Adam Fox put up 8-34-42 in 70 games, which isn’t that far off from DeAngelo’s 15-38-53, but with far better defensive numbers. At some point, it may come down to Fox or DeAngelo. If Fox can put up comparable offensive numbers, wouldn’t you want the more well rounded (and cheaper, for now) player?

You can’t replace DeAngelo, but the Rangers do have the next best thing – replacing him in the aggregate. Fox, as mentioned above, can certainly take the lion’s share here. But don’t discount Nils Lundkvist, who is very quickly becoming one of the more anticipated prospects in the organization. If the Rangers really are dead-set on three lefties and three righties, then something has to give.

Like it or not, DeAngelo is right at that peak trade value without losing much in the long term. It may be a difficult pill to swallow. But again restating this, the Rangers have a clear replacement already on the roster in Fox, and then Fox’s replacement in Lundkvist. Cap implications matter here as well, and spending $5 million on DeAngelo –who could be considered a luxury– may lead to headaches down the road.

Non-Hockey Reasons

Ok this has to be addressed, and no it’s not the reasons you think. The Rangers flat out don’t care where someone leans politically. However the club does care how a player acts within their own internal guidelines.

The Rangers are notoriously strict with who has access to interview their players. However that didn’t stop DeAngelo from appearing on a fan-run podcast. Suffice it to say, that rubbed some the wrong way.

DeAngelo’s new podcast was also not team sanctioned, as far as I know. Suffice it to say, the team probably isn’t pleased with him starting a podcast without letting them know. It created a headache for them. It wouldn’t have mattered if he were discussing hockey, gambling, politics, or what color tulips he liked.

What is likely to happen?

DeAngelo isn’t going to be moved in a cap dump. The Rangers believe themselves to be on the cusp of being legitimate contenders. DeAngelo is a huge piece of that. However in the right hockey deal, anyone is tradeable.

There are only two scenarios I see the Rangers actually trading DeAngelo:

  1. A legit 1LD is available, with similar production and/or a more well rounded LD to fill that gaping hole. This assumes the Rangers don’t move DeAngelo to the left side themselves.
  2. A can’t-miss deal becomes available. This is a league where you have to give to get, and DeAngelo has the most on-ice value in a position of strength for the Rangers

It’s still highly unlikely he is traded, but it would require a blockbuster type deal.