Rangers waive controversial Tony DeAngelo after reported altercation with teammate

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 24: New York Rangers Defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) skates during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers on January 24, 2021, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Tony DeAngelo is likely done in New York. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It turns out Tony DeAngelo wasn’t worth the trouble.

The New York Rangers finally made that determination Sunday morning, placing the fifth-year defenseman and magnet for controversy on waivers.

According to Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic, the decision was made after DeAngelo and Rangers netminder Alexandar Georgiev were involved in an altercation in the tunnel after New York’s overtime loss the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. The altercation was quickly broken up, according to Carpiniello, but Georgiev was held out of practice on Sunday for “maintenance.”

DeAngelo was on the ice for four of Pittsburgh’s five goals in the loss that preceded the Georgiev incident, but most of the issues involving the defender have been unrelated to on-ice performance.

Among them, he threw a tantrum on Twitter when former U.S. president Donald Trump was banned from the platform, stating that he would reserve his social media presence exclusively for Parler — the social network that right-wing extremists and conspiracists used to coordinate the attack earlier this month on the U.S. Capitol.

Ultimately, DeAngelo’s social media boycott didn’t last long.

It very much seems he returned to Twitter just weeks later under the pseudonym @NYRFan92360244 to defend himself, his beliefs, and to continue spewing propaganda and overall nonsense.

His cover was blown before long, with observers on Twitter digging up a mountain of evidence to suggest that @NYRFan92360244 was indeed DeAngelo. This included hilarious attempts to deny that it was indeed a burner account, but also apparent evidence to suggest that DeAngelo was using the social media platform in the press box, while scratched, as the Rangers were on the ice — something which is, of course, against NHL rules.

While the extracurricular activity was surely weighed, DeAngelo’s conduct and struggles on the ice must have factored more in the Rangers’ decision.

While the sample was small, DeAngelo was falling short, rather spectacularly, of the expectations tied to a contract that was paying him $4.8 million annually. Prior to the incident with Georgiev, Rangers coach David Quinn scratched DeAngelo for two games (and likely should have taken his phone away) after “poor on-ice behaviour” in the team’s opening-night loss to the New York Islanders.

DeAngelo has appeared in six games overall, and has one point.

As written about previously, DeAngelo indiscretions are well documented. He’s been suspended at multiple levels in his hockey career for verbal abuse of players and officials.

While what’s next is unclear, it seems certain that DeAngelo will go unclaimed on waivers. That means the Rangers’ only recourse in separating themselves from the relationship would be to buy out the remaining term on a contract that has barely seen the ink dry.

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