We are all aware of Tony DeAngelo’s accomplishments in hockey, both in the NHL and outside of it.
The good things he has contributed to his profession have always been matched by a divisive bad. The consequence of what would happen is inextricably linked to his 2019–20 season (53 points in 68 games), which was significant enough to result in him being basically suspended from the NHL for the duration of what amounts to an entire season.
From our prior trade article:
When former US President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter, he had social media tantrums and tried to hide his previous OHL punishment for hurling racist insults on the ice, among other things. He has spent his whole hockey career striking his goalkeeper. After being acquired by the New York Rangers, he was suspended from the league for less than a year as a result.
We all know the sort of person DeAngelo is, as was previously said, and no matter how hard he tries to play the blue line well to divert attention from his history and present, it will still be discussed. There is little doubt that he will gain fans while also alienating a significant portion of the fan population.
However, this trade left me perplexed as to how, on a team that had its makeup altered to “change the culture,” as evidenced by the addition of Cam Atkinson and the departure of Jake Voracek, for instance, bringing in a player like DeAngelo is an egregious disregard for the efforts made to change that culture. (I’m not suggesting that the effort produced any victories, but management was definitely echoing that view.)
In NHL locker rooms, you don’t often hear about interpersonal interactions, and the league is generally relatively quiet about these behaviors. DeAngelo’s incident with the New York Rangers was so noteworthy because of this (albeit unsurprising). It says a lot that DeAngelo has continued to attract criticism in a league like the NHL.
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We are all aware of how unpopular he is, but we are unsure of how his new Flyer teammates will see him or what will happen when he eventually stirs up trouble in the locker room.
This decision has confused many because the squad was trying to adopt a winning culture and turn things around without a rebuild.