Around the League

Around the League: Hockey Night in Hot Takes

Since Don Cherry got the boot from Coach’s Corner, last night Brian Burke decided it was time to throw a questionable take into the atmosphere when discussing former Ranger Tony DeAngelo. In the clip below, Burke discusses whether or not teams should take a chance on the troubled defenseman under the lens of a former GM:

Unfortunately, Burke hit the nail on the head in the beginning of his explanation, describing how professional athletes get several chances. Where Brian Burke is incorrect is in implying that Tony DeAngelo should get a second chance – this is at least his fourth chance – and I won’t touch the “supposedly well liked in the locker room” thing with a ten foot pole. I’ll give Burke credit only to say he wouldn’t trade for DeAngelo, which I wish was Gorton’s take years ago.

Here’s the thing: it’s beneficial for the Rangers that (presumably) so many GMs hold this archaic notion of players deserving an infinite number of chances. The main retort to dismissing players like DeAngelo is that “cancel culture is bad” – but that talking point does not work here. Cancel culture would be if, after his suspensions (plural) in juniors, DeAngelo worked on himself, maybe focused some of his time volunteering with charities that helped benefit the LGBTQIA+ community, and still never got a chance; this did not happen. DeAngelo continued on in the NHL and never faced solid consequences for his actions. And it shows: he threw a fit for taking a bad penalty and getting benched, and it inevitably meant his exit from New York. Scott Wheeler explains the privilege well in the tweet thread linked here – it’s worth a read through.

Anyway, the truth is I’m grateful DeAngelo is gone and that he’ll soon become another team’s problem. But let’s not pretend that professional sports front offices place high stock in character. This isn’t unique to the NHL and if you’re surprised, then you’ve been willfully ignorant to it. Welcome out from under your rock.

Let’s check in on headlines from the league this past week.

COVID Delays

As is expected, many teams had to delay games due to COVID protocol this past week. The Wild, Avalanche, Rangers, Devils, Bruins, Sabres, Penguins, Knights, Sharks, Blues (did I miss anyone?) all missed games this past week. Sending love to the schedulers out there doing twice the work for presumably the same pay.

Hot Gossip

Anton Khudobin, Stars goalie and apparent Rule Breaker, will be benched today due to an “internal issue” by coach Rick Bowness. Bowness went on to say:

“We’re a family and we’ll deal with things internally,” Bowness said. “But you deal with things by communicating and making your feelings known on what is and what isn’t acceptable. I have very few rules, but you [darn] well better follow them.” (via

Can’t wait for all the tea on this to come, since we know internal gossip always leaks.

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  • Again I don’t judge people or groups of people based on the opinions of others. I like to think for myself and don’t need Brian Burke or any others to do the thinking for me. I have no opinion of ADA good or bad as I have never met him or heard him speak.

  • I dislike his politics and his sometime immature behavior, that said I’m betting that if Tony is your friend he’ll go to the ends of the earth to defend you — so I’m not surprised when people say he’s liked in the room, despite some of his questionable behavior and beliefs.

    We really don’t know ALL the details here, if he screwed around hard with Miller then that is a BIG issue …. but his “talk” and his sometimes childish behavior is hardly a reason to just flat out black ball him, many players and people (in general) are like that to one extent or another, they continue to work. My personal feeling is that he’s now become too much of a distraction, he has to go … but I’m sure there are plenty of other players who occasionally act like immature brats, they’re just quieter about it.

    • His beliefs aren’t questionable that Implies that conservative beliefs are wacky. They are not and many are shared by both sides of the political spectrum. The rest of what you said I agree with

      • I didn’t say conservative beliefs are whacky, I specifically stated that SOME of HIS beliefs are questionable — just as I believe some liberals harbor “questionable” beliefs. Also let’s note that there are questionable beliefs which don’t fall anywhere on the political spectrum – like flat earthers, the anti-vax crowd (not to be confused with those who don’t want to be immediately vaccinated with potentially shoddingly tested vaccines), the conspiracy crowd (those who see conspiracies everywhere), etc.

        • Common, stop this race bating bull, we know pretty al the truth, It wasn’t about any political, it was about something is not healthy in a locker room.

    • I have to give you a thumbs up, I remember him … he was a troubled young adult who got way more chances than he deserved.

  • Not really gona lose any sleep about Tony getting the boot but I can’t help but think how this would’ve played out in other leagues. The other major sports leagues would be confused as to why a very good player was being thrown off the team because of mouthing off to an official and allegedly being a not so great guy.
    NHL gets alot of flack for inclusivity and other issues, perhaps rightfully so, but I think in this instance we shouldn’t be too shocked that he’s going to continue playing hockey in the NHL. There are guys in the NFL that have beaten their wives, had DUI’s and other assorted crimes that continue on playing with little talk about whether they deserve the privilege to carry on playing.

  • Georgiev punches him in the face and gets away with it.
    Leftists are allowed to be violent.
    ADA being attacked because of his political views.
    He did nothing wrong.

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