6:34PM: Jeff Gorton said on MSG, “After the first game of the season he was told he wasn’t going to play and Tony wasn’t able to move on from that, it was something he was trying to get through. I spoke to him at that time and said ‘if there is any more issues here then the time is going to come where we are going to put you on waivers and move on. No more issues, if your name is in anything at all that we have to hear, we are going to move on, make that move. I made that statement to him, something happened I have to stay true to my and the organizations word. We feel like moving on from Tony is the right thing to do, it’s about winning and we feel like this is a move we had to make in our room to put us on the path to winning.”
5:42PM: Jeff Gorton confirmed that DeAngelo has played his last game with the Rangers and that he is currently on the taxi squad. (Whyno)
5:15PM: Darren Dreger tweets that both Jeff Gorton and DeAngelo’s agent Pat Brisson are talking with teams that have trade interest in DeAngelo.
Brisson said that he is confident something will get done in the near future and that DeAngelo will be at home until he is traded. (Dreger)
12:12PM: Pierre LeBrun tweets that the Rangers are still figuring out next steps with DeAngelo and that they are working “closely” with his agent, Pat Brisson.
DeAngelo is in the first of a two-year deal that has a cap hit of $4.8 million.
He will not be in the Rangers lineup tonight, though the Rangers next move with DeAngelo is unknown.
Larry Brooks tweets that the Rangers could potentially find a trade for DeAngelo by retaining salary or taking a contract back in return.
With DeAngelo clearing waivers, the Rangers do have the option to send him to Hartford or the Taxi Squad, though it’s believed that the Rangers are not interested in that.
If the Rangers can send him home and/or keep him away from the team, while still holding his rights, the Rangers could buy out DeAngelo’s contract this offseason.
As Friedman notes, with DeAngelo not turning 26 until October, the Rangers would be able to buy out his contract for 1/3 of the amount rather than the regular 2/3.
Buying out DeAngelo this offseason would save the Rangers $4.4 million in cap space next season, but create dead cap space of: (CapFriendly):
- 2021-22: $383,333
- 2022-23: $883,333
The Rangers could also attempt to terminate DeAngelo’s contract by placing him on unconditional waivers, but as Friedman says “you have to have a basis to terminate a contract.”
Friedman adds, “If Tony DeAngelo doesn’t want his contract terminated, the question is ‘will the Rangers be able to do it?’ Most of the people I spoke to on Sunday don’t think the Rangers will be able to unilaterally do it, but as someone said to me, you don’t know unless you research and try it, but they say the odds aren’t with them.”
Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post, citing a section of the Standard Players’ Contract, that indicates a team could terminate a contract if a player violates the “Club’s rules governing training and conduct of Players.”
Brooks adds that the NHLPA would likely challenge an attempt to terminate DeAngelo’s contract and that he is represented by Pat Brisson of CAA Sports. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: It’s a lot and it’s hard to know which way the Rangers will go. All we know for sure, at least what we think we know, is that DeAngelo will never play for the Rangers again and, because of that, he also won’t be in Hartford or on the Taxi Squad.
The Rangers could probably try to impose a suspension on him, for breaking team rules or something, and that would take care of sending him home. If that is the route they go, and they can’t find a trade, the buyout option is pretty attractive and would free up real money, while not costing a ton in dead cap space. My guess though is that the Rangers would prefer to trade DeAngelo and at least get something back in return.
Anyone interested in DeAngelo had the option to take him and not give up anything, but you’d think that a team would rather trade for him and be able to move out a player or contract in exchange. Most teams are shuffling guys around to save money and cap space and nearly half the league have guys on LTIR, so any trade would either see the Rangers retaining salary or making a dollar in, dollar out kind of trade. The Rangers won’t want to add anyone long-term, a rental defenseman would probably be perfect, but they won’t have a lot of leverage in trade talks.
The idea of terminating his contract seems a little far-fetched. It would be a prolonged legal battle with DeAngelo’s camp, the NHLPA, the NHL and the Rangers. I don’t think anyone wants that, but if the Rangers feel they have cause and enough evidence, maybe it is a road they will go down.