Tony DeAngelo not comfortable talking about his contract during COVID-19 crisis

Tony DeAngelo spoke with the media today after practice. The Rangers leading scorer among defensemen was asked about his pending restricted free agent status once the season concludes.

Tony DeAngelo pending restricted free agent

“I won’t touch too much of that because I think it’s affected a lot of people much worse than it’s going to affect myself & other players across the league,” DeAngelo replied. “There’s a lot of people that are unemployed, so we’re pretty blessed to still be able to play.”

Tony DeAngelo wants to stay with NY Rangers

In a June podcast, DeAngelo expressed his desires to remain with the Rangers. When answering a fan question about getting heat from friends playing for the Rangers and being a diehard Philly sports fan, DeAngelo revealed, “My family and friends have turned into Rangers fans. People always tell me to come home but I’m not coming home. I’d like to stay in NY.”

DeAngelo continued by saying he’s a huge Phillies and Eagles fan, but as for the Flyers…well he had something interesting to say there. “The day the Flyers didn’t draft me in the 14 draft I was done with them. It’s all about the Rangers now.” DeAngelo is a RFA with arbitration rights whenever the offseason begins.

Rangers need to re-sign Tony DeAngelo

DeAngelo wants to stay in NY (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

The 24 year-old righty shot has emerged as the Rangers best offensive defenseman since Brian Leetch. At the time of the pause, DeAngelo had racked up 53 points in 68 games. If he played 82 games at that scoring pace, he would’ve finished with 65 points. For some context, John Carlson of the Capitals scored 70 last season. That’s pretty good by any standard.

DeAngelo has also emerged as the PP QB the Rangers have lacked since Brian Leetch. Yes, it helps to have Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad on your man advantage unit, but he deserves as much credit for giving the Rangers a top PP. NY was 5th overall with a success rate of 23.9% on the strength of 52 power play goals. For Tony, he had 3 of those goals and 19 of his 53 points when a man up. His value to the future success of this team is now undeniable.

No bargain for the Rangers this time

Last off-season DeAngelo held out but was forced to take the Rangers offer because he had no leverage. That will not be the case this summer as he has arbitration rights and will likely ask for a new deal in the $6M to $7M range.

Tony finished 4th in scoring for all NHL defenseman this season. He is sandwiched in between Victor Hedman (7.8M), Quinn Hughes (916K), Alex Pietrangelo (6.5M), and Torey Krug (5.25M). Let’s eliminate Hedman who is established as a top d-man and Hughes who is on his ELC. Both Pietrangelo and Krug are in their late 20’s and set to become UFA’s this summer, but signed their current deals around the same age as DeAngelo will be. That’s where I come up with DeAngelo’s ask.

The Rangers could work out a deal with Tony for about 5.5M AAV over the next 5 years, buying 2 years of unrestricted free agency. This would be the best move cap wise, but he isn’t the only RFA/UFA they need to sign this summer. They could go the bridge deal route for 2 years at say $3.5 to 4M but that has many risks. 

While it is true that Nils Lundkvist is waiting in the wings, he is signed to play one more year in the SHL. Also, there is no given he or Adam Fox will be better as the team’s PP QB.

Jeff Gorton and David Quinn know what they have in DeAngelo. It’s time to lock him up for a few years this summer.

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