Rangers have DeAngelo in a take it or leave it situation

DeAngelo and Shattenkirk (AP)

Tomorrow night the New York Rangers will play the New Jersey Devils in their first contest of the preseason. Aside from Kaapo Kakko potentially facing off against Jack Hughes, there was another key roster decision made. Veteran defenseman Brendan Smith will play right defense in place of Tony DeAngelo who is holding out.

Smith on RD is no surprise here

Just a few days ago, I noted that if DeAngelo were to continue to hold out or get traded the most likely 3rd pair RD would be Smith. The Rangers have all but confirmed it with tomorrow’s roster.

Take it or leave it

I recently asked someone close to the situation if all options were on the table, including trading Tony DeAngelo. While there was no direct answer, I was told to refer back to what John Davidson said at the opening of camp.

The Rangers new President was asked if he was comfortable with where the Rangers lineup is right now. Taking into consideration getting both Panarin and Trouba, the buyout of Shattenkirk and DeAngelo unsigned his response was, “I am comfortable with where we are.” JD also acknowledged that the team has a cap to deal with and when building a team tough decisions need to be made.

Could two of those decisions be to just let DeAngelo sit out until he accepts the 1 year deal at around $1M or trade him for the best offer they get? One thing that seems to add up from everything I’ve learned is that what ever offer is currently on the table it’s as good as it’s going to get. Basically, DeAngelo can take it or leave it. And let’s not forget these words by Pat Brisson, DeAngelo’s agent, that he and the Rangers are having “conversations about possible solutions”.

Emergence of Nils Lundkvist

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When the Rangers drafted Nils Lundkvist with their 3rd pick of the 1st round in 2018, they had high hopes that he could emerge as a future blue-liner on Broadway. Last year he made great strides in Sweden and is off to an even better start in the Champions League.

Next summer, Nils will be 20 years old and the Rangers would like to get him to camp and competing for a spot with the big club. Why bring him up in a DeAngelo article? Because he is a right handed shot and his offensive upside along with his high hockey IQ make him an immediate threat to DeAngelo’s longterm future in NY beyond this season.

Forever Blueshirts interviewed Lundkvist in February and asked him about his strengths and what he needs to work on before joining the Rangers. “My strengths would probably be my skating and how I see the ice and can predict plays,” Lundkvist said. “What I am working on improving the most is my shot and improving my overall physique.”

Fans Chime In

If Tony DeAngelo happens to read this article, he should at least know that fans want him here. A poll I started on Twitter earlier with well over 700 votes has 65% of fans wanting him to sign with the Blueshirts as of the publication of this article.

So what will DeAngelo do? Does he take the offer on the table or continue to holdout until he gets what he feels is fair? You decide and sound off in the comments section below.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore