Tony DeAngelo cleared waivers on Monday, one day after the Rangers waived the high-priced defenseman, who was on the ice as his team surrendered four goals in a 5-4 overtime loss on Saturday to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
DeAngelo, 25, signed a two-year, $9.6 million contract extension in October after a season in which he scored 15 goals and had 53 points, both career highs, in 68 games. He had only one assist and a minus-six rating in six games this season for the Rangers, who were 2-4-2 ahead of Monday’s scheduled game.
According to multiple news reports, DeAngelo and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev had a physical confrontation after Saturday night’s loss. Just before Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal, DeAngelo and Georgiev appeared to have a miscommunication over handling the puck behind the Rangers’ net.
“This isn’t about one incident,” Rangers Coach David Quinn said on Sunday, declining to specify why DeAngelo had been waived. “It’s not about one thing. It’s a situation the organization felt was best at this current time, and we’ll see how the situation plays out.”
“It’s part of the business,” Quinn added. “It’s a decision we made. You’re always sitting down, evaluating your organization. It’s something we did. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Now that the 30 other N.H.L. teams have passed on taking DeAngelo via waivers, he can be sent to the Rangers’ A.H.L. affiliate in Hartford, Conn., be assigned to the Rangers’ taxi squad or be released outright.
Assigning DeAngelo to the Hartford Wolf Pack would subtract $1.075 million from his $4.8 million salary-cap hit. The Rangers would have no opportunity to buy out the remainder of DeAngelo’s contract until the summer.
DeAngelo has been involved in controversies on and off the ice during his career. DeAngelo has played down the severity of the coronavirus on social media. He took down his Twitter page in January and said he would be joining Parler, the app some conservatives began using after Facebook and Twitter began flagging posts for misinformation.
The Rangers have benched DeAngelo twice over the past three seasons, most recently for two games after he incurred an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for slamming the penalty box door and yelling at referees late in an opening-night loss to the Islanders.
DeAngelo also was twice suspended while playing junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League for violating the league’s harassment, abuse and diversity policy — at least once after using an unspecified slur against a teammate. And he was suspended once in juniors and again with the Arizona Coyotes for abuse of an official.
The Rangers acquired DeAngelo, a first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014, from the Coyotes in June 2017 as part of a trade for center Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta.