Tony DeAngelo was originally scheduled to be going back to the Hurricanes, but Carolina has apparently turned their attention to Erik Karlsson. Are the Flyers running out of options for their embattled defenseman?
Elliotte Friedman said on NHL Network that 2023 Norris Trophy winner and San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson could be on the move to either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Carolina Hurricanes. That’s bad news for Tony DeAngelo and the Philadelphia Flyers.
DeAngelo quickly burned out his welcome in Philly thanks to his contract and poor defensive play. DeAngelo, like Kevin Hayes, lost the favor of John Tortorella as a result, and found himself a healthy scratch towards the end of the season. This would be the second time Tortorella has destroyed all leverage the Flyers would have had in a trade, with teams knowing the players won’t be back. Kevin Hayes fetched only a sixth-round pick, and the Flyers are struggling to give Tony DeAngelo away for free.
In exchange for Tony DeAngelo, the Flyers were originally supposed to receive un-signed center Massimo Rizzo from the Carolina Hurricanes. Rizzo is actually a good prospect, and played with Bobby Brink at the University of Denver in 2021. With Brink out of the picture, Rizzo led Denver in scoring this year.
The Erik Karlsson saga has drawn out pretty long at this point, but it’s very unclear how the Hurricanes intend to make this work. Karlsson has a cap hit of $11.5 million, and the Hurricanes have a little over $3.3 million in cap space. Even if the Sharks retained money, Carolina would need to move Brett Pesce or Brady Skjei, at a minimum. This, not including the cost of the actual trade itself.
It’s worth noting that NHL teams can exceed the cap in the offseason by 10 percent, or ~$8.3 million, so the Hurricanes don’t need to have Pesce or Skjei out of the door beforehand. In the long-term, the Canes will need to extend Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen, and Jack Drury. In the end, it might not be worth all the leaps and bounds for a 33 year old Erik Karlsson. There’s no guarantee Carolina can win a cup this year, especially after subtracting another top-four defender to fit Karlsson.
Tony DeAngelo, especially at 50% retained, would be far more cost effective, and the Hurricanes would get him for virtually free. Plus, the Canes already know DeAngelo fits their system and can play good hockey. The only reason they didn’t keep him to begin with was because of the money. With Sebastian Aho looking at a $9.5 million AAV extension, the club shouldn’t do anything unwise in regards to their cap situation so as to remain a competitive, deep team.
The Anaheim Ducks are well below the cap floor at the moment, so if the Flyers are desperate to jettison DeAngelo, he could land there. Anaheim has only Radko Gudas and Jamie Drysdale on their roster on the right side of the defense.
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Whatever happens with DeAngelo, the Flyers cannot continue with Tortorella much longer. Torts is under contract through 2025-26, but his brash and destructive behavior has already cost the Flyers dearly.