July 24: Both players have cleared, meaning they will become unrestricted free agents. Bergmann’s deal will be terminated and not carry a cap hit for the Sharks, while DeAngelo will be bought out.
July 23: Tony DeAngelo is expected to be placed on unconditional waivers today for the purpose of a contract buyout by the New York Rangers, according to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. Unlike players with no-movement clauses like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Keith Yandle, DeAngelo will have to wait a day for his buyout to become official. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports that Lean Bergmann from the San Jose Sharks is also on waivers. A Bergman buyout would cost the Sharks just $142,917 in 2021-22 and $138,750 in 2022-23, but actually doesn’t make much sense. He could also be on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a mutual termination of the final year of his entry-level contract, which would result in no cap penalty for the Sharks. Either way, Bergmann will also become an unrestricted free agent tomorrow.
Because he is still just 25 years old, the Rangers will be on the hook for just one-third of his remaining salary. That means the team will incur a cap penalty of $383,334 for the 2021-22 season and $883,334 for 2022-23.
It’s a rather small price to pay for the Rangers, though obviously it would have been much better if this situation never happened in the first place. The young defenseman scored 53 points in 68 games during the 2019-20 season, establishing himself as one of the best offensive defensemen in the league. A series of run-ins with teammates eventually broke the trust between player and organization, leading to his dismissal from the club for the majority of 2020-21.
A buyout was always the eventual outcome, though the Rangers took the time they had to make sure it was the only conclusion worth pursuing. Other teams could have had DeAngelo for a fraction of his on-ice worth, but obviously no one wanted the public relations headache that came along with it—or at least not while he still carried a $4.8MM cap hit.
Once bought out, DeAngelo will become an unrestricted free agent allowed to sign with any team.