Former New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo has played his final game with the club, general manager Jeff Gorton confirmed in a press conference Monday.
DeAngelo, who has a history of bigotry dating back to his days in the Ontario Hockey League, was placed on waivers Sunday and went unclaimed Monday.
Rangers GM Jeff Gorton on Tony DeAngelo: "Yes, he has played his last game for the Rangers."
— Jackie Spiegel (@jackiespiegel93) February 1, 2021
The catalyst for the decision took place Saturday, following New York’s overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. DeAngelo and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev were involved in an altercation that was quickly broken up by a teammate.
Gorton revealed that DeAngelo had been upset after being scratched due to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the season opener that drew the ire of his coaching staff, and the 25-year-old was told if there was another incident, he’d be removed from the team.
Despite DeAngelo’s long and unapologetic history of abuse and bigotry — more on that below — the Rangers are fielding trade interest for the defenseman as he remains away from the team.
Spoke with DeAngelo’s agent, Pat Brisson. He says he and Rangers GM Jeff Gorton are talking with clubs with trade interest in DeAngelo. Brisson is confident they will get something done in the near future. In the meantime, DeAngelo will remain at home awaiting a deal.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 1, 2021
DeAngelo has been an avowed supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump, praising his regime several times during his time in office. Most notably, DeAngelo voiced support for Trump after his supporters — many of whom are noted white supremacists — stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the presidential election results. DeAngelo was further incensed when Twitter banned Trump from the platform and said he would join Parler, an app that was courting conservatives, in protest of Twitter’s decision.
Rangers president John Davidson refuted the notion that DeAngelo’s extensive social media use and controversies factored into the team’s decision to waive him over the weekend.
Rangers president John Davidson says Tony DeAngelo's social media presence wasn't part of the decision to cut ties: "There's a fine line with social media, but there's also freedom of speech."
— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) February 1, 2021
It was originally reported by Adam Herman of SB Nation’s Blue Shirt Banter that DeAngelo had scooped K’Andre Miller’s first goal puck and kept it, although Miller’s agent, Ian Pulver, confirmed that the puck was being held by the Rangers’ equipment staff for framing. Miller is the lone Black player on the Rangers. Davidson also vehemently rejected the idea that DeAngelo took Miller’s first goal puck.
The full statement by @NYRangers president John Davidson on @BlueshirtBanter report that Tony DeAngelo and K'Andre Miller didn't get along, and that DeAngelo stole the puck from Miller's first NHL goal. pic.twitter.com/fEK40xnVUh
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 1, 2021
DeAngelo’s long history of bigotry has been documented since he was a teenage prospect with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting. During the 2013-14 campaign, DeAngelo was suspended eight games by the Sting for making a “most inappropriate statement to a teammate.” It was his second suspension for a violation of the league’s Harassment and Abuse / Diversity Policy, which specifically outlines the eradication of homophobia, racist and sexist language.
DeAngelo was also suspended on Jan. 1, 2017 for three games for verbally abusing a referee, while he was a member of the Arizona Coyotes. He was also suspended for the same reason in 2014 while with the Sting.
It’s been a rapid descent for DeAngelo, who posted 15 goals and 53 points in 2019-20 and signed a two-year extension worth $9.6 million on Oct. 15. DeAngelo’s defensive liabilities were always glaring, and now his personal defects are being factored into his dismissal.
More from Yahoo Sports