The news began to spread over the weekend: The Hurricanes were planning to sign Tony DeAngelo when he opened free agency. Carolina fans quickly exploded on social media in their response to the reports. On Wednesday, the news became official when DeAngelo signed a one-year, $ 1 million deal.
“We did our research and who this person is beyond what the perception of him is,” general manager Don Waddell said in a call with reporters after the deal was announced. “There is no doubt that he has made mistakes. We recognize him and, more importantly, he recognizes that he has made mistakes and knows that he has to keep working and growing as a person.”
The words of Waddell, who also mentioned that he spoke to DeAngelo’s teammates, assuming that includes former Rangers Brady Skjei and Jesper Fast, who are now with Carolina, and the coaches, sound eerily similar to Jeff’s words. Gorton last February.
On February 1, the then-New York general manager announced that the defender had “played his last game for the Rangers” after approving the waivers. DeAngelo never skated again for the Original Six franchise after he and goalkeeper Alexander Georgiev had a physical altercation outside the locker room following an overtime loss to the Penguins on January 30.
“We did a lot of research, we talked to a lot of people about Tony before we acquired him (from the Coyotes in 2017),” Gorton noted in his press. “Everything came into play when we did that. We did our homework, we felt comfortable.”
DeAngelo was bought by the Rangers a few days ago, making him a free agent.
“A lot of the things that have happened in my career have been emotions of being competitive,” DeAngelo said Wednesday, speaking to the media for the first time since January. “There have never been problems off the ice or anything like that. It just comes from having a high level of competition for the game and passion for the game. I think I’ve made some mistakes along the way, obviously things that I regret. I tried to improve it, now I just have to show it to the Hurricanes.
“They were comfortable bringing me. I told them I was not going to let them down and I am a man of my word. So that’s what I plan to do.”
The New York incident was not an isolated moment.
He was suspended three times in juveniles: once for abuse of officials and twice for violating the league’s policy of keeping “homophobic, racist and sexist language out of the game.” He also took to social media to express his political views (he tweeted “what happened to COVID-19?” After the 2020 US presidential election) and has criticized and argued with fans (challenged one to a fight) . He was asked during his Zoom call on Wednesday if he supported the insurrection on Capitol Hill on January 6, to which he replied: “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would support that, so obviously I did not support it.”
An incident, okay. Various? That is a clear pattern.
Waddell said the team, including coach Rod Brind’Amour, were comfortable with the decision. He mentioned that DeAngelo has been “working with people to try to help him understand what his actions mean to people,” though neither he nor DeAngelo went into detail.
“I’ve obviously had some downtime since early February after leaving New York,” said the New Jersey native. “It’s just trying to control your emotions as best you can and not letting your emotions take over you and making mistakes. So we’ve worked a lot … I think there has been a lot of progress.”
Progress or not, this is definitely an interesting hurricane move. There is no question that DeAngelo is a good hockey player. The 25-year-old blueliner scored 53 points in 68 games in 2019-20 and is expected to play a key role in Carolina’s power play. He only received $ 1 million (an easy contract to bury, if need be) and, as Waddell said, his value is more than that on paper. This is the best “show me” deal, and it’s not about point production.
Fans aren’t too keen on just thinking about DeAngelo’s actions on ice. Several of them have stated that they no longer support the club, a club that is involved in “Hockey is for everyone.”
“I’ve said a few things and I’ve done a few things that came from being on the ice that I regret, and I’m not going to sit here and say I haven’t, but I’m sorry and I have to move on,” DeAngelo said. . “You have to become a better person and control it. I’m not going to act like it never happened. I think once they [the fans] watch me play, they’ll see me on the ice more than anything. “
“I hope they don’t cancel their season tickets.” “There are a lot of great players in the team, it’s a great organization. Stay with us, give me a chance and I’ll do my best for you.”
Well Tony, as Waddell said, “The proof is in the pudding.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.