The Carolina Hurricanes made a bold move Wednesday, signing defenseman Tony DeAngelo, who said he realizes he needs to demonstrate that the disruptions that led to numerous past issues won’t resurface.
DeAngelo, 25, landed a one-year contract worth $1 million.
The New York Rangers disowned him after just six games last season. He was involved in an incident with goalie Alexandar Georgiev after an overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 30.
DeAngelo was waived in the aftermath, and he went unclaimed by the rest of the NHL. The Rangers eventually bought out his contract. Details about the incident were unclear, and DeAngelo did not get into specifics while talking with the media about his signing on Wednesday.
“That’s private stuff,” he said. “They didn’t let it out, I’m not going to be the one to let it out. I will say that I think there’s been some misunderstanding of maybe exactly what happened. …
“There’s mistakes made for myself that I take responsibility for, and on the other side as well. But it is what it is. You’ve got to move on. But I’m excited to be in Carolina and continue my career.”
It wasn’t DeAngelo’s first brush with controversy.
The NHL suspended him for three games in 2016 during his rookie season with the Arizona Coyotes for abuse of officials. That came two years after the Ontario Hockey League suspended him for eight games for making a racist slur at a teammate.
While some fans of the Hurricanes expressed displeasure with the signing, threatening to no longer attend games, DeAngelo asked for a chance to prove himself.
“Stick with us. Give me a shot, and I’m going to make the best for you guys,” DeAngelo said.
Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said of signing DeAngelo, “We did our research on who this person is, beyond what the perception of him (is). There’s no doubt that he has made mistakes. We acknowledged that, and more importantly, he recognizes that he’s made mistakes and he knows he’s got to continue to work and grow as a person.”
In five NHL seasons covering 206 games, DeAngelo has 24 goals and 82 assists. His best season was 2019-20, when he played in 68 games and logged 15 goals and 38 assists.
–Field Level Media