Tony DeAngelo Is On Waivers. New Jersey Devils Should Stay Far Away

Nathan Bastian #42 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Nathan Bastian #42 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils defense could use some help, but Tony DeAngelo is not the answer.

It’s not often that a player who is coming off a 53-point season is placed directly on waivers just a month into the next season. It’s even rarer that the player in question is a defenseman. That’s exactly what the New York Rangers did with Tony DeAngelo on Sunday morning. The controversial defenseman has struggled this season, but his fall from grace is astronomical.

The New Jersey Devils could use another defenseman, and DeAngelo comes with the price tag of free. Sure, the Devils would have to pay his $4.8 million contract, but they have plenty of cap space this season and even more next season.

However, the Devils shouldn’t even consider taking on a player like DeAngelo. Let’s ignore the controversy for just a second. DeAngelo is basically bringing in a player that mimics a lot of what the Devils already do. The Devils need more defense on the team. DeAngelo would only hurt them on the backend.

DeAngelo has a propensity of getting his skates knocked off by star players. He’s been destroyed by Sebastian Aho and Mat Barzal in the past year. The Devils already have P.K. Subban, Damon Severson, Will Butcher, and Ty Smith as mostly offensive defensemen. Also, they have Sami Vatanen eventually coming from Finland, who is also more offense than defense.

DeAngelo just isn’t the right fit for this Devils team. He’s only 25 years old, so for his sake maybe he can turn around whatever is going wrong this season. However, on the ice, the Devils have much bigger problems than “scoring from the blue line”. Smith is leading all rookies in points (tied with Kirill Kaprizov). Subban has been playing much better on the offensive side the past three games (he’s had five shots hit the net in each of the past two games). Again, the Devils have Butcher on the bench if they want more offense.

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Off the ice, DeAngelo’s reputation is well deserved. He threw a hissy fit over former President Donald Trump getting thrown off Twitter. Politics are what they are, and there’s likely more conservatives in hockey than not, but being so outwardly about it that it’s a distraction is a problem. Also, there’s the whole racist or homophobic incident in juniors. When he was with the Sarnia Sting, he used derogatory language towards another player. That’s terrible when it’s towards an opponent, but he said it to his TEAMMATE. He’s said he’s learned from the incident, and people make mistakes when they are 18 years old, but how can you put him in the locker room with Subban? He’s currently playing with K’Andre Miller, but they’ve had time to hash out any issues. This would be a little more immediate for the Devils to have to address.

This is a huge no. DeAngelo doesn’t help on the ice enough to counteract all he does wrong everywhere else. This incident will probably humble him, and there’s a good chance it will make him a better human. However, let another team deal with his rehabilitation.