On the same day former Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi announced his retirement from hockey, the Blueshirts took care of a little business by finally re-signing key defenseman Tony DeAngelo.
He basically accepted the one year qualifying offer and will make $925,000 for the season. He had no choice. Honestly, his holdout was silly because it made no sense. He got bad advice from his agent. At least he is back in the fold like Brendan Lemieux. Now, both can play for a raise next summer.
Last season, DeAngelo responded to many benchings from coach David Quinn by improving his play to become a trusted member of the defense. In a year he was scratched 21 times, the former Lightning first round pick from New Jersey began to show some of the potential he’s had.
He registered new career highs in games played (61), assists (26), points (30) and plus/minus (6). His splits were good with 20 even strength points (4-16-20) and 10 power play points (all assists). He also played with a chip on his shoulder getting into a few scraps by registering 77 penalty minutes.
With DeAngelo, who’s still only 23, it’s about channeling his emotions so he can become consistent. The skating and ability is undeniable. Quinn isn’t afraid to make an example of him or other players to get his message across. That’s good for development.
DeAngelo isn’t skating today. It’ll probably be a few days before we see him get into a preseason game. Hopefully, he can get the rust out. Especially with what Adam Fox showed on Tuesday.
The good news is the right side is finally revamped. Jacob Trouba headlines it as the anchor followed by Fox and DeAngelo. They could interchange on the second and third pairs depending.
It’s definitely encouraging to have everyone re-signed and in camp unlike a few other teams, who are still scrambling to get some of the big unsigned Group II free agents re-signed.
The rebuilding Rangers can move forward. Tonight will be their second game of the preseason. It’s again the Devils, but in Newark. Here’s the projected lineup.
No Kaapo Kakko tonight. I think Jack Hughes is playing for the Devils. It’s almost as if a game is being played between both teams. They don’t want to draw much attention to exhibition. We’ll have to wait.