Tony DeAngelo has played his final game for the New York Rangers despite going unclaimed on waivers, general manager Jeff Gorton said Monday.
The Rangers assigned DeAngelo to their taxi squad, but Gorton said the 25-year-old defenceman won't be around the team after an undisclosed “incident” Saturday night. The NHL's other 30 teams passed on the opportunity to add DeAngelo when New York put him on waivers Sunday.
“We told the player ‘Enough is enough, let’s move on,’” Gorton said. “It was just time.”
The Rangers just re-signed DeAngelo to a $9.6 million, two-year contract in October. They're not contemplating any way to void that contract but instead are “looking for another place for him to play,” Gorton said.
Gorton believed DeAngelo “couldn't get over” being a healthy scratch earlier this season. Coach David Quinn benched DeAngelo for a bad penalty in the season opener and was put on warning by the organization in the aftermath of that decision.
DeAngelo was on the ice for four goals against in an overtime loss Saturday and had a minus-6 rating this season.
Beyond saying there was an “incident," Gorton declined to explain what happened between DeAngelo and backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev on Saturday night. Gorton said Georgiev was “fine” and able to back up.
The Athletic and New York Post reported that DeAngelo was involved in a postgame “altercation” outside the locker room with Georgiev.
“This isn’t about one incident,” Quinn said Sunday. “It’s not about one thing. This is a situation that the organization felt was best at this current time.”
Team president John Davidson said there was no truth to a report about DeAngelo and rookie K'Andre Miller not getting along. Davidson added that DeAngelo's social media presence was not the reason for the Rangers moving on.
That the Rangers took such an aggressive move to attempt to cut ties with DeAngelo speaks volumes about the 2014 first-round pick’s fall in the eyes of the front office and coaching staff. At 2-4-2 with six points through eight games, the New York sits in last place in the East Division.
DeAngelo has one point in six games. He tied for 12th in Norris Trophy voting last season with 53 points in 68 games during the shortened regular season.
“A handful of guys maybe aren’t playing at the level they were playing last year, and you could probably say Tony would be one of them, but he’s not the only one," Quinn said.
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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press