Defense

Thoughts on a Tony DeAngelo contract impacting Nils Lundkvist

Larry Brooks noted yesterday that re-signing Tony DeAngelo to a long-term contract could have an impact on Nils Lundkvist. Brooks theorizes that signing DeAngelo to a long-term contract would mean Lundkvist would choose free agency in 2022 over signing with the NY Rangers. There’s certainly some logic, but let’s break this down.

1. If the Rangers commit to DeAngelo long-term, then they’d have Trouba-Fox-DeAngelo on the right side. Since the Rangers seem obsessed with handedness on the blue line, this would mean Lundkvist wouldn’t get any playing time. The logic is there on the surface. A lot can change between now and 2022 though.

2. It’s the Rangers’ own obsession with handedness that is forcing this discussion. The simple answer is move one of the three to the left side. Trouba is capable, but my preference would be moving DeAngelo to the left side. As an all-offense, almost minimal defense defenseman, moving to the left side could open up more offensive opportunities. From a tactics perspective, he would get a better vision of the play unfolding on the breakout, enabling cleaner transitions through the neutral zone.

3. I think it’s a little premature to say that Lundkvist won’t sign with the Rangers if they have three RDs already. Even if the Rangers don’t relent on their handedness obsession, there are ways to fix log jams. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

4. For those wondering why Lundkvist wouldn’t sign with a loaded team, it’s about playing time and opportunity. It’s why Kevin Hayes didn’t sign in Chicago. If there’s no roster spot for him, and he’s more or less NHL ready at this juncture, then why sign? He’d get buried or play in the AHL. That won’t help him maximize his career and earnings potential.

5. Lundkvist is projecting to be a far superior player than DeAngelo. His ceiling is the same offensive output, but actually good in his own end. His floor is “just” a three zone defenseman who will still contribute offensively. That is his projection, not a guarantee. It’s ok to hedge, but the Rangers appear committed to their rebuild, which means young, cheap talent.

6. A long-term DeAngelo contract is risky with a flat cap. However it’s not about this year or next, it’s about when Mika Zibanejad, Kaapo Kakko, and Adam Fox need new contracts for 2022-2023. It’s about Alexis Lafreniere, Morgan Barron, and K’Andre Miller needing new contracts in 2023-2024. That’s how far out cap planning goes. Does a one-dimensional defenseman at $5+ million hurt their cap situation? It might.

7. The Rangers can hedge though. A one or a two year contract for DeAngelo wouldn’t impact Nils Lundkvist that much. With DeAngelo heading to arbitration, that’s a realistic scenario. Perhaps kicking the can down the road is the best bet for all parties.

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  • it’s curious that Brooks puts this story out at about 7:00 pm est on a Saturday night. And his choice of words is interesting; he says they “won’t be signing” as opposed to something less committal like “they may not sign him”

    not really sure what to make of all of this, but it does feel like something is brewing on the trade front.

  • If they know that they have to trade him then they should send his rights to Philly. They are stacked with quality bottom sixer’s from the Hextall rebuild era. I say forget about draft picks, go poach for some NHL ready prospects..

    Connor Bunnaman- 6’1 200+ pound center (22 yrs old)

    Carsen Twarynski- 6’2 200 pound winger who plays like Lem (22 yrs old)

    German Rubtsov- Russian born center. 6 feet at about 200 pounds. 21 yrs old

  • I was highly critical of the Skjei contract as I felt they gave him too much money. Well ,that contract turned out to be pretty easy to move and I think the same will be true of a DeAngelo contract.

  • No effect. Even if ADA signs long term he can still be traded.

    Lindkvist and Miller are the jewels of the prospects and will have guaranteed spots when they are ready for full time NHL duty.

  • Nothing but click bait from Brooks. The Rangers won’t let Lundkvist get away unless he himself refuses to sign. He is a better prospect than Millet at this stage so I wouldn’t worry.

    Speaking of prospects. This is my preliminary list of prospects that may be available to us with the 22 pick in the draft. I will put them in my order of preference.

    1 – Jacob Perrault C

    2- J. J. Paterka RW/LW

    3- Reichel LW

    4- Ozzy Weislatt C

    5- Egor Sokolov ( if we trade down and add a 2nd round pick) I would pick him with the second round pick.

    6- Brandon Brisson C

    7 – Braden Ghule D

    8 – Luke Evangalista

    • “Nothing but click bait from Brooks.”

      Okay or it’s quite possible that Brooks has the drop on what’s to come. Kakko, Laffy, Kravtsov, Panarin and Zib should be at full force by 2023-24. By then they will have figure out on what to do with the hole at the 2c position. Winning the draft lottery in back to back off-seasons could have helped pushed out ADA to the side. I think the offence at the forward spot should be there soon.. Maybe JG wants to to focus on his top 9 instead of defence? Kakko and Laffy are going to need $$ very soon and Zib as well if they plan to keep him.

      K Miller is 2-3 years away from reaching his starting potential. It sounds like we should be on hold for Nils to come over. If he comes over by the age of 21, it’s still a step up from trying to pry Buch at the age of 22-23 years old, so I can most definitely wait on that timetable.

  • Signing Tony is the smart move for the player has proven what he can do in the NHL. Nils is a prospect. Therein lies the difference. Signing Tony doesn’t mean he cannot be traded if the Rangers find themselves with extra D-men. At the present time, DeAngelo is a key piece because they simply do not have anyone capable of replacing him now.

    • He’s eminently replaceable. So much of his production was based off of playing with Panarin; put any of the other RD on PP1 and they would match the output just by riding the gravy train.

      Sign him to a solid compliant deal where year 1 is signing bonus driven with minimum paragraph 1 salary, then flip him after the bonus is paid out.

      In a season like this, that is how you max out his trade value.

      • Have to disagree with you there. They don’t have anyone who can replace him currently, which was my point. Also, out of his 53 points, 19 were on the power play. So his 5×5 production of 34 points was quite significant. I’d sign him up long term at a reasonable rate if they could. If not, the one year deal might work, but carries the risk of losing him or another big year making him even more expensive to sign later.

        • And that production at evens was driven by playing with Panarin. I’ve laid it out previously, can’t be bothered to do it again.

          If he goes to arbitration, I guarantee the Rangers will walk away from the award.

  • I mean, there is a lot of $ coming off the books after next season, think something like 20 mill. Close to 14 in Hank and Staal alone, so yeah, they might have some room.

    Also, like a few have stated, a player can always be traded right?

    • Not when they hand out NMC/NTC clauses like chocolates. This stuff has got to stop. These players need to know that in their business they are a commodity and you can’t handcuff an organization this way. We pay our soldiers a pittance in comparison, and they never know where they will be. It’s time for the guys, and the families they support, to put their big boy pants on and realize this is the nature of the business. Fact of the matter is, if they live up to the expectations of their contracts, there is a good chance they will not be traded, not a guarantee, but a good chance.

  • And, Nils would actually have to play well at the NHL level and prove he can be Tony D replacement…

    Seems like a great situation; ride Tony till Nils comes over, and then trade Tony if Nils has the goods. Seems pretty straight forward

  • I have to agree with your assessment, Dave. but the wrinkle is, this is the era of 2020 Covid-19. Times, they are a changing quickly, so who can really say with any confidence what will happen next? Not a comment on your article, because I thought it was solid. Not that you care what I think, anyway.

  • While it’s true no players should be off limits when it comes to the trade market, I would like to see the organization sign ADA to a bridge deal. Without the no movement clause. This would give DeAngelo a chance to show that last season production wasn’t an anomaly and also that he can improve his play in his end of the ice.

    And yes, I watched Lundkvist play at the World Juniors and yes he does have some offensive flair. But it’s too soon to call it a slam dunk that he can adapt his game to the NHL.

    Patience.

    • Bloomer

      Your right on almost all counts except that the kid has broken all kinds of scoring records for a d-man, including Erik Karlsson’s records!!!!!!!!!!!

      That’s impressive don’t you agree???????

      • Agree, ADA could be another Zubov in the making. It would torture for Rangers fans to have to watch DeAngelo on another team, lighting up the board nightly on the hockey highlights reel.

      • a lot of it is post draft tho – which aspect sets him apart? a booming shot? does he have erik karlsson’s point shot? why then did he go 28th ?

        • Agentsmith

          I have no idea as to what your asking. The kid may have been on the small side, or has improved considerably. He was drafted for his offense, but when placed in a position where they needed him to play more of a defensive role, in which he excelled from all reports.

          If you ask these questions, why not do some reading on the kid, and draw your own conclusions. I just posted on what I read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • My point is that he doesnt have any background that screams we must clear way for rasmus dahlin. I mean he still a first round pick, but so is brady skjei. They take time to develop and it’s way too early to draw absolute conclusions . Esp vs a 50 point scoring nhl d man.

  • “Lundkvist is projecting to be a far superior player than DeAngelo”. Is he really going to be that much better in the NHL, is the question? DeAngelo, still only 24, has done nothing but improve each season, and is proven already in the NHL. Though average defensively right now, he adds tremendous offense and an element of grit and toughness, something the Rangers always seem to lack. Lundkvist (though a great prospect) has not proven anything as far as North American style hockey is concerned. Is he another soft skilled player for an already soft skilled team? Will DeAngelo elevate his defensive game as he matures and become a star player? Remember 53 points in 68 games last year. The Rangers letting all-star Sergei Zubov go years ago, and letting DeAngelo go now, may eventually end the same way, regretful! I say, find a way to resign him, he is only going to get better.

  • bullet 5 is very irresponsible imo – i can list 5 recent high swedish defenseman picks who still havnt scratched the surface in the nhl , young cheap talent ? fine i can buy that – but lets pump the breaks on nil offensive prowess – we dont know how it translates in the NHL yet and its an unknown quantity still

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