After a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes stalled, the Philadelphia Flyers have placed Tony DeAngelo on unconditional waivers to buyout his contract.
It’s a tough ending to what was drawing out to be a much longer saga than intended. The Philadelphia Flyers were given a second buyout window after they settled with Noah Cates before needing arbitration. The window to do so was 72 hours. Tony DeAngelo was going to be out one way or another after rumors stirred of a trade to the Hurricanes.
If the trade to the Hurricanes had gone through, the Flyers were going to be on the hook for $2.5M for next season. Philadelphia will end up saving money in the first year, but will now have his cap hit on the books for the next two seasons. The longer things dragged on, the more likely a scenario this became.
One of the positives to this move is that the Flyers will keep two retention slots open now instead of just the one. They used one up when they traded Kevin Hayes to the Blues.
If Tony DeAngelo clears waivers, he will become a free agent and can sign with any team. Is that possibly a way for him to end up on the Hurricanes? The latest reason the original trade stalled was because Carolina was interested in acquiring Erik Karlssson. The Flyers couldn’t continue to wait and see what was going to happen, so they turned to another way to move DeAngelo off the team.
The writing was on the wall regardless. DeAngelo was scratched for the final five games of the season. And despite his desire to remain in Philadelphia, it didn’t seem as if there was a path where that could be possible. Whether there was too much friction between him and John Tortorella or Danny Briere simply believed he was no longer a fit, having DeAngelo on the roster next year may have hurt more than it would’ve helped.
While his 42 points were the most amongst defenseman and his 19 power play points were highest on the team, it was his defense that was often lacking at times. His 44.58 xGF% was among the worst on the team when looking at those who regularly played. There were numerous times in which Tortorella talked about Tony DeAngelo’s defense being a work in progress. Not exactly what you want to hear about someone who has been in the league for seven seasons now.
"“Tony didn’t play the last five games, so something happened, right? That’s gonna stay between Tony and I and the team. My job is to make decisions on what is best for the hockey team, my job as the coach. Sometimes it causes situations, but that’s all part of it.” Tortorella said during his end of season interview."
Tony DeAngelo was a little more open about it at the end of the season. While he accepted that Tortorella is the coach and he has to live with the decision, there was a bit of disagreement in the fact that DeAngelo felt he should’ve played. And that it didn’t seem as if he knew why he wasn’t playing at that point. There wasn’t much discussion between the two as to why it happened.
"”He’s the coach of the team, so you got to respect that, and I respect what he does. Do I agree with it, what happened in the last five games? Absolutely not,” DeAngelo said about the scratches. “I think it’s ridiculous that I didn’t play the last five. That’s one thing, but he’s also the coach of the team. It’s not my job to decide that. All I can worry about is being a good teammate, which I think I did. Tried to stay out of the way. I don’t want to be a distraction to anybody, these guys had stuff to play for.”"
This will be the second time that Tony DeAngelo has had his contract bought out. The New York Rangers did so following the 2020-21 season after he appeared in just six games and was waived during the year. He becomes the first player to have been bought out twice during his career.
It has not been a smooth journey for DeAngelo throughout his NHL career. He becomes the third veteran to leave Philadelphia after the trades of Ivan Provorov and Hayes.