New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo was punched in the face by a teammate following Saturday night’s overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, a source confirmed with amNewYork Metro.
The incident stemmed from an altercation with goaltender Alexandar Georgiev in the tunnel of Madison Square Garden leading to the Rangers’ locker room. DeAngelo was on the ice for the game-winning goal scored by Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
The source indicated that DeAngelo sparked the disagreement that led to the punch being thrown, prompting the Rangers to place him on waivers on Sunday.
As mentioned before, it is unknown which teammate threw the punch, but two separate sources reached out to AMNY Metro and claimed it was veteran forward, Chris Kreider, further adding to the speculation that was put forth by other outlets — most notably David Shapiro of Blue Seats Blog. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks, however, reported on Monday that no other teammate was involved in the altercation.
Rangers head coach David Quinn would not delve into what happened after it was announced that DeAngelo was put on waivers Sunday.
“There’s always rumors, as you know,” said Quinn. “I’m not going to address rumors. This isn’t about one incident. It’s not about one thing. It’s a situation the organization felt was best at this current time and we’ll see how the situation plays out.
“It’s part of the business. It’s a decision we made. You’re always sitting down, evaluating your organization. It’s something we did. We’ll see how it plays out… I don’t want to get into specifics. In 24 hours we’ll probably be able to be more specific and address the situation differently.”
DeAngelo, 25, signed a two-year deal worth over $9 million after posting 53 points in 68 games last season. While he staked a claim as one of the premier offensive blueliners in the game, his defensive contributions became a liability — which is only magnified in front of two young goaltenders in Igor Shesterkin and Georgiev.
The New Jersey native has often been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. He was suspended twice in juniors for using racial slurs and has often aired controversial views on his now-deleted Twitter account. Yet he was continuously given the chance to not only make it to the NHL but carve out the foundation for what could have been a promising career.
It seems as though DeAngelo swung and missed on his last strike, at least for his time with the Rangers. But we’ll see if the NHL — which continues to display an inability to take a staunch stand against racism and bigotry — drops the ball once again.