It is always a good reminder that if we let our ego, pride, and/or confidence in ourselves run unchecked, it can have disastrous results for us. Time and time again, in sports, life, and history, we have seen this play out. For the Philadelphia Flyers, two star players that were counted on to help turn this team around, fell victim to their hubris and now have been dispatched from the team. Kevin Hayes was traded just days before the NHL Draft. Now, Tony DeAngelo has joined him in exile; waived by the team he grew up rooting for.
When DeAngelo was traded to the Flyers last year, I was excited; although others had some reservations. He was an offensive dynamo. He could carry the puck into the zone and put up a lot of points. He seemed to be the sort of blueliner that the Flyers really needed. The sort of player they used to have in Shayne Gostisbehere. Those weren’t the reasons, however, that many Flyers fans had those reservations about the trade.
He had a checkered history before coming to Philadelphia. He had been suspended as a junior league player in the OHL for comments directed at teammates and officials. He continued to argue with officials as a member of the Tampa Bay organization and physically abused an official while with the Coyotes. He resurrected his career as part of the NY Rangers, but again his physical play towards others got the best of him. He got suspended with an unsportsmanlike conduct, was warned that other actions would get him cut. He pouted and became disagreeable to team management and would eventually just be placed on waivers for release after a reported altercation with Alexandar Georgiev after an overtime loss. A promising career looked like it would be wasted.
The Carolina Hurricanes would take a chance on him. They signed him to a one-year “show me” deal. DeAngelo showed his worth. He’d always shown a lot of scoring potential and he proved Carolina made the right move in signing him. His 51 points were just two shy of a career high and his 41 assists have been the most he’s ever posted in a season. He helped the fans forget about losing the popular defender Dougie Hamilton to free agency. More importantly, he behaved himself and wasn’t a problem for Rod Brind’Amour and the team. He wasn’t suspended, got along with his teammates, and became a leader in the locker room. In short, he’s the sort of player you want on your team.
So, it was kind of a surprise that the Hurricanes would deal him to a divisional rival. He would be a free agent and would command a pay raise, though. The Canes turned their attention to signing Brent Burns to lead their defense and dealt DeAngelo for some draft picks. The Flyers then signed DeAngelo to a two-year extension worth $10 million. More importantly, DeAngelo was excited to join the team he grew up rooting for as a New Jersey native.