Rangers confirm DeAngelo played final game, Kakko added to COVID-19 Protocol list


In about as truthful a press conference as they could have, the Rangers have moved on without Tony DeAngelo. Both Team President John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton confirmed that the troubled player has played his final game for the team.

DeAngelo cost himself due to his selfish actions following Saturday’s loss to the Pens. The altercation with goalie Alex Georgiev was unacceptable. It was childish and the organization had seen enough. They had to move on.

Davidson also began the presser by calling out the Rangers blog that flat out made up a story about DeAngelo and K’Andre Miller. That never happened. It was refuted by Miller’s agent last night. In fact, it was the mature rookie defenseman who broke up the fight. He also was one of several teammates who reached out to DeAngelo via text.

As hard as it is for some of the players who had good relationships with DeAngelo, this move is for the best for all parties. You just can’t have this kind of distraction on a team. Especially around young players who are still learning.

Apparently, a frustrated DeAngelo couldn’t get past coach David Quinn benching him stemming from the unsportsmanlike conduct he took for slamming the penalty box in the first game. That really became an issue for the team. Davidson revealed why.

It goes without saying that at this point in his NHL career, DeAngelo should’ve been able to handle the situation better. Plenty of good players have gotten healthy scratched throughout the league. The Flyers recently sat out Travis Konecny. Alain Vigneault explained why. Konecny returned yesterday. It happens. Davidson was very honest about the soon to be former Ranger, who unfortunately was his own worst enemy.

You can have all the talent in the world. But if you don’t have it together, things can unravel pretty quickly. DeAngelo is a classic case of a troubled person who went from a career season where he posted 15 goals and 53 points, earning a new contract, to losing his job. It’s uncertain if he’ll ever play another NHL game.

Unsurprisingly, no team was interested in picking up his contract that pays him an AAV of $4.8 million through next season. Gorton did confirm that they’re not interested in terminating the contract. Rather they’d like to see if they can find a place for DeAngelo to play via trade.

I’m on the record as saying I think it would be best for DeAngelo to take a step away from the game. He needs help. If he admits a problem and gets it, maybe he can save his NHL career. Right now, I’m not sure what will happen. Before he just decides to go to Russia and play in the KHL, he needs counseling for his anger management issues.

Interestingly, Quinn who left most of the discussion to management, indicated that his former player was well received by teammates. That isn’t surprising. DeAngelo competed hard and always had his teammates’ backs in the heat of battle. He turned himself into a good player.

In fact, Quinn did reach out to DeAngelo on Sunday evening.

Regardless, it’s clearly over for him in NYC. What the future holds remains to be seen. He did it to himself. That in itself is sad. There’s nothing good about what happened. All the team can do is move forward.

The Rangers will attempt to do that tonight. They were dealt another blow when Kaapo Kakko was placed on the COVID-19 Protocol List. This doesn’t mean he’s positive. It just means he’s not able to play.

Forward Jonny Brodzinski was recalled from the Wolf Pack. He’ll suit up on the fourth line. Vince Mercogliano tried guessing the lines.

What we do know is it’s Igor Shestyorkin versus Casey DeSmith in net.

D looks like this:

Miller-Trouba

Lindgren-Fox

Bitetto-Smith

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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