Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. After writing a 10,000 word manifesto last night, I didn’t expect to be back tonight, nor did I have any idea that I would be talking about Tony DeAngelo being waived by the Rangers, which was a transaction that the Rangers made on Sunday morning. Needless to say, this Rangers season hasn’t gone the way I thought it would. Going into the season, I thought this team was taking one huge step in the right direction. Now? It feels like this team is falling off a ladder and hitting every rung with their chin on the way down.
This is a different type of blog than the usual fare here, because while I’ve previously covered Tony DeAngelo stories and recapped his “Watch Your Tone” podcast episodes on this site, the news from Sunday morning trumps all. Seriously, I’ve been doing this site for nearly seven years now. I can’t think of another big story that broke like this and in this fashion during my time writing about the Rangers. When it comes to previous big stories, we all had a hint that they were coming, whether it was the Lundqvist buy-out, the Panarin signing, the trades after “The Letter” or something else. I guess the Marc Staal trade came out of left field too, but that story doesn’t feel nearly as big as this one. Perhaps like a Mike Tyson or a Conor McGregor, it’s DeAngelo’s name value that makes this story feel so huge.
In the past, I have found previous Tony DeAngelo stories, which were reported elsewhere, to not have much substance behind them, meaning that I didn’t think what he did was a big deal. Big whoop, he left Twitter. Oh no, he went golfing at a Trump owned golf course! However, being waived by the Rangers is a real story and a real story with a ton of consequences for the Rangers, David Quinn and Tony DeAngelo himself.
Without question, Tony DeAngelo is the biggest lightning rod in franchise history. I have never seen a player get so much ill-advised hatred, over non-hockey related matters, like the way DeAngelo does from a certain section of the fan base. Of course, social media, cancel culture and politics of this era are the reasons for the never-ending controversies and sometimes invented stories (you’ll read about one of them shortly here) regarding Tony DeAngelo. Put it this way, had Sean Avery played in this era, he’d probably be the biggest lightning rod in franchise history. That said, Avery did a pretty good job of ruffling feathers himself!
Real quick, in case you missed it, here’s last night’s blog, which covered perhaps DeAngelo’s last game as a New York Ranger:
NYR/PIT 1/30 Review: Rangers Suffer Another Disappointing One Goal Loss; Plenty of Blame To Go Around, MSG – Where All Good Vibes Go To Die; Trouba Stabs Team in the Back & Makes Me Cry, Mika Zibane-vid Continues to Decrease; Fan Panic Now Increased, DQ’s Questionable Decisions Lead To Full-Blown Derision, Vally Blows (Everyone Knows), NYR Goalies & More. Plus: Getting a Chance To Hang Out with NYR Legend Pete Stemkowski & Alumni Updates!
I talked a lot about David Quinn last night, which is why I linked the blog above, as I don’t want to go into repeat mode here. In addition, you can check out the archives of this site for my previous articles on DeAngelo.
In short, last night, I talked about DQ’s questionable decisions, not only about this inane idea of rotating his goaltenders, but how some players are ridden harder/treated differently than others.
Tony DeAngelo slams a penalty box door. As a result, DeAngelo is a healthy scratch for two games. Brendan Lemieux commits a penalty in a game, a game which followed a game which featured Lemieux sacrificing himself in, as he writhed in agony on the bench, after blocking two shots. However, because he took a penalty, Lemieux gets scratched. To go even further here, despite his team being gassed, tired and unable to get the puck away from the Penguins in the last six minutes of Saturday night’s game, DQ stapled Brendan Smith to his bench. With Colin Blackwell out with injury, DQ decided to go with 11F & 5D in a period where the Rangers didn’t have their legs in.
Conversely, Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba have been taking dumb penalties all season and have not lived up to their contracts at this point in time, yet David Quinn doesn’t make a move. In fact, DQ praises these two as team leaders! Even worse, Jacob Trouba and DQ routinely make excuses for Trouba’s poor play thus far in his Rangers career, because despite earning $8M a season, Trouba needs time to adjust. You know who didn’t need time to adjust? Adam Fox, who plays the same position as Trouba for 1/8th the money and who gives the Rangers 8 times the production as Trouba. Of course, the NYR lame-stream media will never bring any of this up, because it doesn’t fit their narrative. In fact, you got Larry Brooks campaigning for Trouba to be captain!
Early Sunday, the Rangers casually tweeted out the following:
Right after, Elliote Friedman, of SportsNet, confirmed the news. What happened next were Ranger fans coming up with conspiracy theories that rivaled the JFK assassination and the Zodiac Killer. No joke, I read the following “headlines”:
— TONI DEEANGALO WAS FYRED BECAUSE HE SUPORTZ TRUMP!
— DAVID KWIN TOLD JD TO GET RID OF DEANGLO FOR BEIN A RACISS!
— DEANGELO SUX AND NYR HAD ENUFF!
Someone who regularly gives me accurate information on the Rangers gave me this wild headline, a headline that I didn’t want to believe:
— Tony DeAngelo and Alexandar Georgiev had an altercation in the tunnel, right after Crosby scored the game winning goal. As a result, Chris Kreider broke it up and punched DeAngelo in the face.
Here’s what we know for a fact. DeAngelo did confront Georgiev after the game, regarding Georgiev’s gaffe prior to the Crosby goal, a gaffe that perhaps cost the Rangers a much needed clear and shift change. There was no violence here, as there were no punches thrown, no MMA moves being applied, or anything of that nature. However, what did happen, was that DeAngelo, who is self-admittedly hot-headed and gets fired up easily, got into Georgiev’s face. What happened next gets sketchy.
I think we’ll know the full story in a few days, but I was told that teammates separated DeAngelo and Georgiev, with the thinking that this altercation could get physical. I was also told that Kreider punched DeAngelo, which makes this story sound “sexier”.
Of course other sites are running headlines that read like “KREIDER TKO’S DEANGELO’S NOSE”, without being able to confirm this as fact. However, it’s not like these other blogs worry about the truth getting in the way of a good story, hence the recent nonsense they ran regarding an obvious fake Twitter account pretending to be Tony DeAngelo. (And really, I can’t believe that a big site like Yahoo gets away with outright slander these days. I didn’t realize you could call anyone you want a racist and report on fake Twitter accounts as being real, with no consequences.)
And do you know why Kreider is linked to this story? Because of this picture:
You see, if you zoom in really close, you can see that Kreider’s hand is bruised a bit. Of course, Kreider was involved in some rough stuff during the end of the second period last night, rough stuff that Jacob Trouba cowardly skated away from last night. (Of note, Tony DeAngelo, along with Ryan Strome & Artemi Panarin, were right there with Kreider in battling the Penguins. Trouba was the only fat cat that shied away. Instead of getting involved with the big dogs, Trouba played with the gear of a Penguin, like a kitten playing with a piece of string. How cute.)
As far as what I can say with 100% certainty, it’s that Georgiev & DeAngelo definitely had a screaming match, a screaming match which was started by DeAngelo, as a result of Crosby’s game winner. The team broke up the two, in an incident which was 100% DeAngelo’s fault. Whether or not Kreider got rough with DeAngelo, that can’t be confirmed right now.
I’ll also add this – had the media been allowed in the locker room, as they would’ve been if it weren’t for this pandemic, I’m sure we’d know much more about this story. In fact, I bet we would’ve known that this DeAngelo transaction was coming. However, the media is not allowed in the locker room right now, which is why details of this story are slowly trickling down the vine.
Let’s take a look at what happens next.
As you read these words, this is obviously an on-going story, so I will give you the facts here and try to limit the speculation. DeAngelo was waived at noon, on Sunday, January 31st. If no team claims him by noon Monday, DeAngelo will have cleared waivers.
When it comes to any team claiming DeAngelo, my gut feeling is that no team does. With DeAngelo’s new contract and with the salary cap staying flat, it’s hard to see a team jumping on a contract that comes with a $4.8M cap hit annually. (Watch someone claim him the second I hit “publish” on this blog!)
In addition, as I’ve always said about young players always on the move, when a player is on three or four teams by the age of 25, there’s a reason for it. (Anthony Duclair would be the best and most recent example of this.) While a lot of what is out there about DeAngelo is all fake (the Sarnia stuff, anything regarding K’Andre Miller, the burner accounts, etc) what is true is that if DeAngelo suits up for another team, it will be his fourth franchise in five years. Of note, DeAngelo just turned 25 years old this past October.
During this site’s history, I recapped every episode of Tony DeAngelo’s “Watch Your Tone”. On the podcast, DeAngelo admitted that he has an issue with anger and was uncoachable during his stint in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. While I know saying “TONY DEANGELO ONCE SAID AS A KID, HE DIDN’T LIKE PUFF DADDY RIPPING OFF LED ZEPPELIN SONGS. K’ANDRE MILLER HEARD THIS & THE RANGERS JOINED IN UNITY, SUNG “WE ARE THE WORLD” & DEMANDED THAT DEANGELO BE WAIVED” or garbage like that will get clicks, the real issue here, is that in this particular situation, DeAngelo’s anger got the best of him again. He’s at fault here.
I don’t care about the social media bullshit, the people with DeAngelo Derangement Syndrome or in this case, even David Quinn, who I do feel is partly responsible for this. (More on DQ as we move along.) For one second, throw all the bullshit away and look at this black and white fact – Tony DeAngelo started an incident with Georgiev. While I do believe that anything DeAngelo does gets magnified and blown out of proportion, he takes the blame here. It’s at the point where people, including people who do like DeAngelo, are getting tired of always seeing his name in the news.
And yes – unlike these people throwing parades about this news, I admit, I hate this story. It’s not good for the Rangers and it’s not good for DeAngelo either. I’m also aware, unlike others talking about this story, that players and teammates do have dust-ups between each other. This applies not only in hockey, but in all sports. Sometimes players need to air stuff out and get the bad blood out of their system. Unfortunately for DeAngelo, he’s playing in 2021 and not in 1971. Hell, Shaquille O’Neal & Kobe Bryant fought with each other in the early 2000’s and they went on to win multiple championships. Of course, Tony DeAngelo isn’t at the same level as those two.
With DeAngelo having a target on his back already, there was just no way he was coming out of this situation unscathed, especially with a coach who sometimes comes off like he wants to role-play the John Tortorella vs Sean Avery feud with DeAngelo.
And really, what’s going on with the NYR media? Not one of them can get a quote from DeAngelo right now? While DeAngelo might not pick up the phone, and even if he did, he’d most likely say “no comment”; shouldn’t these reporters do their due diligence and at least try to get DeAngelo’s side of the story? Then again, perhaps these reporters like stupid things like this to spread:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 31, 2021
We all know that I’m a Georgiev fan, if not the biggest, but come on, do you really think TDA went off on Georgiev about his goalie mask? The way people spin stuff on social media is incredible and it doesn’t help that the real reporters don’t do much to dispel such garbage. Many times, they promote it.
And just as I was about to publish this blog, ESPN.com finally stepped up to the plate and refuted one of the 7896789679678 erroneous reports from Adam Hermtrans, someone who can’t assess players without attacking their personal beliefs if their beliefs aren’t in line with his.
Really, I didn’t want to give this type of story the time of day, because it’s all horseshit. Even by talking about this now, I’m giving this maroon credence. At least ESPN took away any credibility that some rubes thought that Adam Hermtrans, and people of his ilk, had.
If you’re not aware, and don’t follow social media, there is a gaggle of GOTCHA people, who make up rumors about Tony DeAngelo all day. One of the fake news rumors created by these people is that Miller and DeAngelo don’t get along, because you see, DeAngelo is the David Duke of the NHL, despite absolutely no evidence suggesting this at all. DeAngelo may be immature and hot-headed, but if you read some of the drivel written by others, you would think that DeAngelo burns two crosses before breakfast. Again, I hate giving this stuff any burn, because I’m just validating it. However, this story is now on ESPN, so I’d be remiss if I omitted it.
As I was writing this blog, Adam Hermtrans created some poorly written fan-fiction, where he accused Tony DeAngelo of bullying K’Andre Miller and how DeAngelo stole Miller’s puck from his first goal. OF COURSE, AS WE ALL SAW AFTER THE GOAL, TONY DEANGELO GRABBED THE PUCK OUT OF THE NET DURING MILLER’S CELEBRATION AND GAVE IT TO A RANGERS STAFF MEMBER, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SAFE-KEEPING! YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE AN IDIOT IF YOU THOUGHT DEANGELO WAS HIDING THAT PUCK FROM MILLER ALL GAME!
To the credit of Hermtrans, because he does have some marks believing anything negative he writes about DeAngelo (and this is right after posting #BellLetsTalk and orating a speech about anti-bullying from this Twitter pulpit) people ran with this story. So not only was DeAngelo already every name and -ist in the book, he was now bullying and robbing Miller of a monumental keepsake.
With the story from Hermtrans getting traction, ESPN reporter Greg Wyshynski chimed in. You can read his report from its original source here: https://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-41106827-4
Here’s what Greg W. wrote:
“Defenseman K’Andre Miller’s agent, as well as a Rangers source, refuted a report that his teammate Tony DeAngelo kept the puck from Miller’s first NHL goal. Miller’s agent Ian Pulver told ESPN: “It’s K’Andre’s understanding that the NYR equipment manager, or whoever is responsible for getting it, has the puck and that it’s being framed like other first goals. At no time did he think otherwise.””
Doubling-down on his fake news, after ESPN.com’s report, Hermtrans said he stands by his horrible made-up story. Who are you going to believe, Miller and his agent, or some jerk-off who has written about 7864782615782635784265789265789462 negative words about DeAngelo?
Wyshynski also wrote the following on Twitter:
“A source close to the Rangers indicated that while DeAngelo was seen collecting the puck from the Sabres’ net, he immediately handed it to the training staff and that the puck is due to be sent out for framing this week.
I also asked a source about the relationship between Miller and DeAngelo on NYR and was told “it was a normal teammate relationship.” So take all of this for what it’s worth. At least when it comes to the “stolen puck,” a lot of pushback on that report.”
In addition, Greg W. said that when it came to Miller not taking a picture with the puck, it was because the Rangers lost the game. That’s the way it’s always been. After all, just look at Alexis Lafreniere from this past Thursday night. He scored a game winning goal, and within seconds, out came the “Broadway Hat” and a picture with the puck. The Rangers never celebrate losses, despite what Adam Hermtrans may lead you to believe.
I can’t believe I wasted my time and your time with this, but it is a story. If there’s any irony here, it was funny watching Greg W., who is a liberal and has written negative stuff about DeAngelo in the past, take down Hermtrans, who is just bat-shit crazy with his politics, so bat-shit, that he’ll make up stories on a whim. It was nice to see Greg W. put his own personal political beliefs to the side and slam the door on this, as if he were Tony DeAngelo himself, slamming a penalty box door!
And wouldn’t it be something if the Rangers all rallied behind DeAngelo right now, because of the bullshit Hermtrans put out there? How ironic would it be if this waiver wire story goes up in smoke, as the team unites over the routinely published fake news by Adam Hermtrans?
If DeAngelo is claimed by another team, the Rangers will wipe their hands of both him and his contract and scot-free. However, as noted, there are most likely not any suitors out there, for a player with maturity issues and with a $4.8M cap hit to boot. (DeAngelo will be paid $9.6M overall, after this season and the 2021-2022 season.)
Come 12PM February 1st, if no team claims DeAngelo, the Rangers will have some decisions to make.
What is known, and as first reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Tony DeAngelo is on regular waivers as opposed to unconditional waivers. What this means, is that DeAngelo’s contract can not be terminated for some sort of violation. Had the Rangers put DeAngelo on unconditional waivers or try to find a loop-hole to terminate their contract with DeAngelo, the Rangers will find themselves in a war with the NHLPA union. And really, that’s a battle neither the Rangers or the union want. I would venture to guess that it’s not a war DeAngelo wants either.
What’s also known is that DeAngelo wasn’t at practice Saturday. In other words, it seems highly unlikely that he’s being waived for taxi-squad purposes. While DeAngelo is being punished right now, and wouldn’t have been at practice anyway, it’s just hard to envision him joining the taxi-squad after the comments David Quinn made after practice. (I’ll have all of those quotes for you shortly.)
Also worth noting here, is that with DeAngelo now off the main roster, at least for the time being, the Rangers would save $1.075M on the salary cap, in the event that TDA doesn’t suit up for the Rangers again while under contract to the club.
At this time, there’s only one question to ask – “what’s next?”
If there’s one thing to keep in mind here, when it comes to Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton, it’s these two things. First off, Gorton has more dead cap space than any other general manager in the league. Currently, the Rangers are carrying cap hits of $6,083,333 for Kevin Shattenkirk, $5,500,000 for Henrik Lundqvist, $1,111,111 for Dan Girardi and $300,000 for Ryan Spooner. Combined, that’s 17.18% of the team’s salary cap for this 2021 season. Assuming that no team claims DeAngelo, and that the Rangers want to move him, the Rangers will most likely add more dead cap space in the event that they trade DeAngelo. (And think – if no one claims DeAngelo, the only way the Rangers have a shot of moving him is if they eat 50% of his contract. I suppose the Rangers could also buy-out DeAngelo, but that would be a tough pill to swallow. I can’t believe we’re even talking about this.)
The second thing to keep in mind here, when talking Jeff Gorton, it’s this – under his regime, he once waived Brendan Smith. Smith would go to the Hartford Wolfpack, where he wound up breaking his hand after getting into a fist-fight with Vinni Lettieri. (Another example of teammates fighting with each other, as an old-school way to blow off steam/settle bad blood.) As you know, today, Brendan Smith is back with the Rangers. In other words, while it doesn’t look good right now, there’s still a chance that DeAngelo one day wears a Rangers jersey again. Of course, the Rangers may not even take the chance of sending DeAngelo to Hartford, if it’s their belief that they need to move on from DeAngelo completely.
Let’s get into what David Quinn said.
In a short zoom chat with the media after Sunday’s practice, Quinn said the following:
“This was just a decision the organization made and we will see how it works out. I get the questions, I know you want more specifics, but like I said, a decision we made as an organization, and in 24 hours we will be able to probably be a little more specific.
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.
This isn’t about one incident, it’s not about one thing. This is a situation that the organization felt was best at this current time and we’ll see how the situation plays out.”
As this is an on-going and developing story, you better believe that Quinn and the Rangers will get more specific. I would also expect John Davidson, who has been open and transparent with both Ranger fans and the media alike, to say something too. I also think Jeff Gorton should say something too, at least if he wants to back up his head coach. Similar to last year, when Henrik Lundqvist was relegated to the team’s third-string goaltender, for right now, David Quinn is the only one talking to the media. That’s an unenviable position, but when it comes to DeAngelo, I think this is all rooted with David Quinn, rather than with Jeff Gorton or JD anyway.
If there’s anything that truly bothers me about DQ’s quote, it’s the “we’ll see how the situation plays out.” This isn’t DQ tinkering around with his line-up anymore, this is now him throwing darts with player contracts and the personnel. From what he said, there didn’t seem to be much confidence behind his words. That’s scary.
Now let’s really dive into David Quinn vs Tony DeAngelo here.
This is something we can all agree on – the Rangers are coming nowhere close to the expectations set upon them this season. Whether it’s the goalies, the fat cats, the losing or Tony DeAngelo himself, it’s been nothing but disappointment this season. And really, since the NHL resumed from their pause, the Rangers have won only one game in regulation. In other words, the Rangers have only won one regulation game out of their last eleven. Spare me the words “rebuild”, “development” and “growth” – the bottom line is that all of this losing is a major issue right now.
As I said repeatedly prior to this season, I thought Tony DeAngelo was going to have a down year, at least offensively. I thought losing Marc Staal as a partner was going to be a major blow, as Staal’s style of play complemented DeAngelo’s. Now paired with the likes of Jack Johnson and Brendan Smith, DeAngelo, who already was trying to focus more on his defensive game than his offensive game, was going to be spread thin. In addition, with the Fox/Lindgren pairing being a pairing that should never be broken up, the Rangers and DQ want to get Trouba going. That’s why Trouba had four different partners starting at training camp and into the first week of the season, with DeAngelo originally slotted to be Trouba’s partner.
DQ has decided to make it a priority to get Trouba going, because of that horrible, horrible and did I mention horrible, contract that Trouba has. Since signing that contract, not only have DeAngelo and Fox out-played and out-performed Trouba, but so did the much more affordable Neal Pionk, who went to Winnipeg as a result of the Rangers trade for Trouba.
With Trouba being a focus, such a focus that DQ even broke up his top pair of Fox and Lindgren temporarily, Trouba has been slotted with K’Andre Miller, who is the second best left-handed defenseman on the team. (And who knows, by the end of the season, Miller could be the best LD on the team.) In turn, DeAngelo routinely plays with the worst left defensemen that the team has to offer. It’s tough to get going like that.
It should be stated, that it seems like DeAngelo and DQ haven’t always had the best relationship, as in DQ’s first year with the club, he would make DeAngelo a healthy scratch repeatedly. However, last season, the 2019-2020 season, with both Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad having career years, DeAngelo had a career year himself, as he finished up as the fourth highest scoring defenseman in the NHL. Fast-forward to today, these three aren’t replicating the seasons they had last year. Not only is losing contagious, but it also breeds contempt and hostility.
Obviously, a 4-0 loss to start the season, and to the Islanders nonetheless, is nothing no Ranger fan, Ranger or DQ himself wanted. As previously recapped, this led to DQ making an example out of DeAngelo, where DQ scratched TDA for two games, over slamming a penalty box door. If there is anything that’s been consistent about TDA over the course of his Rangers career, it’s the fact that he gives a damn, and maybe in this era, cares too much. This is why you see the word “immature” sometimes, when talking DeAngelo. (Of course, when he was playing well last season, you didn’t see that word as much. Losing and not playing well changes things.)
With hindsight being a guide here, singling out DeAngelo was a move that continued the wedge between DQ and his newly paid star. After all, when explaining that opening game loss to the Islanders, it’s tough to solely finger-point at DeAngelo. The whole team was bad. In addition, by the time DeAngelo took his penalty, the game was long over. It’s not like slamming a penalty box door was the difference between a win or a loss. Hell, you could argue that DQ was the difference, as his team was no match for the Islanders on that night, nor were they prepared.
And really, as someone who has defended Quinn the whole way, and as someone who will defend any Rangers player or coach until they give me a reason not to, this is where I think it’s put up or shut up time for Mr. Quinn.
I’ll save you my “Greatest Hits” on DQ here. Simply said, I’m not in the “FIRE DQ” camp at all. However, that campfire is burning ever so bright after this news. I also want to reiterate here, that all the crap and BS rumors that are put out there about DeAngelo by these limp-wristed people, that’s all it is – feces. (Seriously, some of the garbage that Adam Hermtrans put out there today? Well he might as well have blamed TDA for the coronavirus!)
When you boil it all down, the Rangers, whether it’s the players, the front office or the coaches themselves, collectively, all they care about is winning. They don’t care who’s on what social media platform, who voted for who or any of that crap that some fans get riled up about. It’s all about delivering on the ice.
David Quinn, who does sometimes seem cocky in his interviews, especially for a guy who has never won any major championship/Cup, decided to single out Tony DeAngelo. He pressed all the buttons, while treating other players differently. While you can’t absolve DeAngelo from any blame in this incident with Georgiev, I truly believe that TDA has been boiling with rage ever since being scratched. As talked about on past blogs, to me, TDA is like a Larry David from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” type, which means that anything TDA does, he’s automatically wrong and whatever he does gets a ton of press/attention. After all TDA = clicks/ad revenue/content for many people. (That said, just like “LD” on “Curb”, the good stuff that TDA does is often ignored. As you know, negativity sells.)
It’s tough to say that a guy who is being paid nearly $5M a season was “dealt a bad hand”, but it has felt like TDA has been on the wrong side of DQ more times than not, with perhaps this incident marking the last time these two are at the same bench together.
While I don’t think the Lundqvist situation had anything to do with DQ, as I think that was just a player’s battle against Father Time, this situation with DeAngelo is rooted with David Quinn. For the first time, in now his third season as Rangers coach, DQ’s actions led to the dismissal of a player. (Again, TDA isn’t innocent here either and being immature, rather than biting his lip, is also part of this.)
If there is anything David Quinn needs right now, it’s to right this ship. A winning streak would not only validate David Quinn in his moves with DeAngelo, it would take a lot of pressure off of this team. Yes, the Rangers are young, but losing can never be acceptable. You don’t want to create a culture here that currently exists in Buffalo and Edmonton. In addition, it’s not like the Rangers roster is just young kids. You have some heavily paid players on this team, which DeAngelo was/is as well.
It’s my opinion, that now moving forward, if DQ can’t get this team to win, all of these DQ post-game interviews, which now all sound like the same old shit night in and night out, will only continue to grow frustrations. I don’t know if the term “hot-seat” is appropriate just yet, but with DQ perhaps fueling DeAngelo’s rage, thus meaning he didn’t know how to motivate a player correctly, combined with all of the continued losing, all of this could lead DQ right out of town as well.
I don’t know what the future is for Tony DeAngelo. Gun to my head, I feel the Rangers eat half his salary in a trade. The Penguins could use a d-man. So could Boston. However, would the Rangers trade with someone in their own division?
I do know this – DQ has to get this team winning, as it looks like he’s lost his locker room a bit here. We do know that TDA has close bonds with Adam Fox, Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux. How will they respond to this?
Again, no one expected any of this and the Rangers are failing at the 1/7th mark of the season. Yes, they’ve played well enough to win nearly every game they’ve played this season, but this is a results based business. This isn’t horse shoes.
It’s also worth stating here – perhaps not having a captain or true leaders on this team also factors into all of this chaos. Sometimes the players need to police themselves, but with no chief, perhaps that locker room has a “Lord of the Flies” feel to it.
Of course, I expect more details to come out tomorrow, so who knows, maybe something egregious is reported and maybe the Rangers had no choice here. For right now, we don’t know.
From this point in time, there are only two ways this can go down for the Rangers. On one hand, maybe this move rallies the team and David Quinn, and this move becomes a catalyst for greater things. On the other hand, this could be the beginning of the end for David Quinn’s tenure here, as the team not only is in the running during the Draft Lottery, but in dead last place in their division.
Going into this season, I said the only way I envisioned David Quinn getting the ax is if the Rangers had an ungodly win-loss record. This DeAngelo move just increases the pressure to win.
I want to close with this. This story just sucks. There’s no silver lining here, unless you’re a TDA hater. Even then, this could’ve been handled better. Rather than trying to keep this news in-house, and in an attempt to make a trade, the Rangers have now destroyed all of the worth of this near $5M per season asset. Maybe Reddit can help the Rangers boost TDA’s stock on Monday morning.
Bad teams find different ways to lose. Teammates turn on each other on bad teams. Bad teams lose coaches. For a team that I personally was extremely optimistic about going into this season, my hope for a playoff bid (a playoff berth that DQ and the players themselves talked about before the season) is now escaping like air out of a tire that was stabbed by a machete.
If you get anything out of this rambling (my phone has been going crazy as I write this, so I apologize if I come off as all over the place, in an attempt to gather all of my thoughts) it’s this – it looks like the downward spiral is continuing, a downward spiral that might only cease to end with the removal of the head coach. For months, I’ve been as positive as anyone, in anticipation of this season. Now, just eight games into this season, this season looks like it could be lost by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. (And I don’t think TDA and DQ will be exchanging boxes of chocolate with one another either!) At this point in time, we need a winning streak badly.
There will be a lot more DeAngelo talk tomorrow, as his future and the Rangers salary cap situation will now become stories. I know for many fans, this stuff makes you groan.
Real quick before going home here, let me get into the rest of the news as a result of this story.
With TDA now out of the picture, David Quinn said that Island Park, NY native, in Anthony Bitetto, will get his first game of the season on Monday night against Pittsburgh. I’m happy for the kid. This is a dream come true for him, as this life-long Ranger fan gets to play on MSG ice, for the first time as a Ranger. As talked about on past blogs, I have mutual friends of Bitetto and I know they are all excited. Maybe that’s the silver lining to this story! (Of note, I’ve only met Bitetto once or twice at a bar, before his NHL career began, and the extent of my conversations with him were “hi” and “bye”.)
Colin Blackwell is now expected to miss anywhere from 7-10 games. Julien Gauthier is now expected to re-enter the line-up in Blackwell’s steed.
Georgiev didn’t practice on Saturday, as he had a “maintenance day”. While DeAngelo and Georgiev didn’t get physical with one another, maybe Georgiev got the day off to calm his nerves. Then again, he faced a lot of pucks on Saturday night, so maybe he was going to get the day off to begin with.
If Monday night against Pittsburgh wasn’t big enough, as the Rangers try to turn the tide, this game is now even more important for the Rangers to come out on the right end of. And just to think, the Rangers haven’t played any of the top three teams in the division yet, in the Capitals, Flyers and Bruins. Things could get scary real quick.
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24 hours ago, I closed this blog off with, “see ya Monday, and with hopefully a more positive tone.” It’s amazing how time can change everything.
See you tomorrow night.
As always here, thanks for reading and…
LET’S GO RANGERS!
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