Tony DeAngelo went unclaimed by the NHL’s other 30 teams Monday after the New York Rangers put him on waivers.
It was not immediately clear what the Rangers would do with the 25-year-old defencemen who remains under contract with them. DeAngelo is not expected to play Monday night against Pittsburgh.
The Rangers waived DeAngelo on Sunday less than four months since re-signing him to a $9.6 million, two-year contract. DeAngelo was on the ice for four Penguins goals in an overtime loss Saturday night and has a minus-6 rating this season.
Coach David Quinn declined to say whether the move to waive DeAngelo was solely performance-related.
“Things happen in pro sports, and that was a decision the organization made,“ Quinn said after practice Sunday. “I don’t want to get into specifics. It’s something the organization decided to do.”
That the Rangers took such an aggressive move to attempt to cut ties with DeAngelo speaks volumes about the 2014 first-round pick’s fall in the eyes of the front office and coaching staff. He had been a healthy scratch earlier this season, and Quinn said journeyman Anthony Bitetto would replace DeAngelo in New York’s lineup.
The Athletic and New York Post reported that DeAngelo was involved in a postgame “altercation” outside the locker room Saturday night with goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Quinn said he wouldn’t address “rumours.”
“This isn’t about one incident,” he said. “It’s not about one thing. This is a situation that the organization felt was best at this current time.”
Quinn is expected to speak to the media before the game. At 2-4-2 with six points through eight games, the Rangers sit in last place in the East Division.
DeAngelo has one point in six games. He tied for 12th in Norris Trophy voting last season with 53 points in 68 games during the shortened regular season.
“A handful of guys maybe aren’t playing at the level they were playing last year, and you could probably say Tony would be one of them, but he’s not the only one,“ Quinn said.