Tony DeAngelo’s hamstring injury deprived Rangers power play of his best

The Rangers scored only four goals in their series against the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s no surprise that they were swept because of it. Still, one player in particular battled through injury and it was obvious he was a shadow of himself.

Tony DeAngelo injury hurt the Rangers offense

New York’s best offensive weapon on the back line, Tony DeAngelo was a game-time decision for game one. He missed practice the day before, and was a question mark. While he did suit up, it was obvious he wasn’t right.

Today, we learned that DeAngelo played through a bad hamstring injury. That information helps explain why the smooth but also aggressive skater had such a bad series.

Tony DeAngelo, we have learned, played through a debilitating hamstring issue against Carolina, so that gives cover to No. 77’s difficulties. That may or may not change the equation with DeAngelo, who is also coming up on arbitration-eligible restricted free agency.

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It was most obvious on the power play where the Rangers scored just once in 14 chances. That was on a 5 on 3 and DeAngelo picked up his only point in the series.

Tony DeAngelo‘s future

Tony DeAngelo injury news
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. His 53 points in 68 games were impressive. If he had played a full 82 games at that scoring pace, he would’ve finished with about 64-65 points. For some context, John Carlson of the Capitals scored 70 last season. That’s pretty good by any standard.

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. He was 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.

For me, the biggest risk is not keeping DeAngelo. The Rangers need his abilities on the blue-line as a PP QB. That was even more evident in these playoffs as he tried to play through injury. Maybe if he was healthy, the team could’ve been better that 7.1% on the man advantage.

Hell, they may still be playing if he was healthy.

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