By: Mason Goldstein
A Junior at Dwight-Englewood School, Mason is joining More Sports Now as a guest/student contributing reporter. He is a member of the New York Saints 16U AAA American Team, and an all around die hard hockey fan.
In order for a team to have success, chemistry amongst the players is vital. Every player and member of the coaching staff has to fit together like a puzzle, and if a piece is missing, the puzzle won’t be complete. As for the New York Rangers and all-star defenseman Tony DeAngelo, they couldn’t make those last few pieces fit.
DeAngelo, a New Jersey native, is coming off a career-high year in points, and had big expectations this season to be one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL. The sky was the limit with this star defenseman, or so it would seem. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, all of the positivity that the Rangers organization, and just as importantly there fans had for this twenty-five-year-old, went down the drain (along with maybe his career).
DeAngelo has had instances where he violated rules on racism, and was suspected of being racist in the past. From his days playing Junior Hockey, all the way to the NHL, this has been a recurring issue. During his time with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, he violated team policies by using racial slurs and other derogatory terms. His actions put NHL teams’ management in a tough spot. Knowing this, they had to ask themselves if they wanted to draft the talented young man in the first place. The answer for the Tampa Bay Lightning was yes, and they selected him 19th overall in the 2014 draft.
The problem with DeAngelo however was that a trend had been established. His play on the ice was always very good, yet his behavior off of it was an entirely different story. He would be singled out for individual awards, while at the same time be suspended for a myriad of issues. Tampa wound up trading him to the Arizona Coyotes 2 years later (2016). He made his NHL debut during his one season with Arizona before being dealt to the Rangers.
Fast forward to the present day and the Rangers, after multiple reasons, including allegedly stealing rookie defenseman K’Andre Miller’s first NHL goal puck, put him on waivers. His final incident (soon after the puck situation), consisted of an altercation on the way to the locker room with his teammate and goalie Alexander Georgiev in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, January 30.
While leaving the ice after a tough overtime loss, DeAngelo had words with Georgiev, which ended in the goalie punching him with his blocker. Teammates later broke up the scuffle, but the damage was done, and as it turned out DeAngelo had played his final game for the Rangers.
You hate to see these things happen amongst teammates, even as a Devils fan writing about the Rangers, I take no joy in it. The franchise had high expectations this season, they were supposed to be one of the best teams in the league. Only fourteen games in however, they are currently in sixth place in the East Division, and sit two spots out of a playoff position.
As for DeAngelo, his former actions have really put a dent in his once promising career. He must now find a way to redeem his credibility around the National Hockey League amongst peers, coaches, fans, and management. The Rangers on the other hand have to find that new piece to complete the team’s puzzle.
Feature photo: Blueshirt Banter