4:45pm: At a press conference this evening, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton made it clear that DeAngelo “has played his last game for the Rangers.” As Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press relays on Twitter, Gorton felt that DeAngelo “wasn’t able to move on” from being a healthy scratch earlier in the season and if anything else happened, the team was ready to move on instead. DeAngelo will not be around the team, despite currently being on the taxi squad, while they search for a trade. At this point, the Rangers are not looking to void his contract.
11:05am: New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo has cleared waivers today, meaning he can now be assigned to the taxi squad or minor leagues. DeAngelo was waived after an incident occurred following Saturday’s overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in which he and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev had a physical altercation in the hallway outside the locker room. As Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports, the altercation was broken up by rookie defenseman K’Andre Miller.
DeAngelo, 25, signed a two-year, $9.6MM contract just a few months ago after his breakout 15-goal, 53-point 2019-20 season. He received Norris Trophy votes for the outstanding campaign but was still overshadowed by assistant captain Jacob Trouba and young star Adam Fox on the right side in New York. This is not the first time DeAngelo has been involved in altercations with teammates. In 2014, he was suspended by the OHL for violating the league’s harassment, abuse, and diversity policy by directing a slur at one of his Sarnia Sting teammates. It was the second time he had been suspended for violating the league’s policy. DeAngelo has also been suspended in the NHL for the abuse of an official, serving a three-game ban in 2017.
As Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweets, the Rangers are now still determining what the next step is for the organization and DeAngelo. They are working with his agent Pat Brisson on the matter, though a trade seems very unlikely at this point. Putting DeAngelo on the taxi squad or minor leagues would bury $1.075MM of his cap hit, while an offseason buyout would require the Rangers to only pay out one-third of the remaining salary owed because he is still under the age of 26. That would mean relatively minuscule cap penalties moving forward, though they would have to wait until the end of the year.