Tony DeAngelo is on the move again.
The Carolina Hurricanes traded the restricted free agent defenseman on Friday, along with a seventh-round draft pick, to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for second, third, and fourth draft picks that will be spread out over the next three years. The second-round pick is in 2024, the third-round pick is 2023, and the fourth-round pick is for this year.
Philadelphia then reportedly re-signed DeAngelo to a two-year contract extension with a salary cap hit of $5 million per season.
“We’re very happy to add Tony to our team and I know he is very excited to join the Flyers,” said Fletcher. “We did our due diligence and we strongly believe in Tony and his ability to help our team. He is a right-handed shot who moves the puck extremely well and will drive offense from the back end for us.”
On one hand, DeAngelo provides a ton of offense from the blue line and is coming off of a 10 goal, 41 assist, 51 point season in 64 games. Over his past two seasons he has scored at a 64-point pace over 82 games. So there is definitely a lot of offensive upside there.
The downsides, though, are that DeAngelo gives up a lot on the defensive end of the ice and brings a ton of baggage with him off the ice. DeAngelo has already worn out his welcome in multiple organizations, and is now set to join what is already his fifth different team at 26. For a defenseman that produces the way he does, that should be an alarming red flag. Why doesn’t anybody want to keep him?
He has only stuck with one organization for more than two years (he spent just a little more than three years in New York) and is on the move again. Tampa Bay moved on just one year after using a first-round pick on him (despite strong play in the American Hockey League) for a second-round pick. Arizona traded him after just one year in its organization in the move for Derek Stepan. His fallout from the Rangers after his three years there was tumultuous to say the least. And now after a 51-point season, the Hurricanes are moving on.
Maybe they wouldn’t be moving on if not for salary cap reasons, because they were reportedly considering not tendering him a qualifying offer this offseason. And that is definitely a fair argument in this case. But if you really want to keep a potential 60-point defenseman that is still only 26 years old, you probably find a way to make that work.
As it stands, he is now a member of the Flyers and gets yet another fresh start.
That now brings us to the question with the Flyers.
Giving up three draft picks for a player that might have been available in free agency in a couple of weeks is certainly an interesting choice, especially for a team in the Flyers’ position.
The Flyers’ approach to the 2022-23 season remains curious because they still seem to think they are better than they actually are. The Flyers had one of the worst records in the league last season, no longer have Claude Giroux, and still seem to believe they have a chance to make the playoffs. Otherwise, why hire an established coach like John Tortorella? Or re-sign Rasmus Ristolainen for such a massive salary? Or trade for DeAngelo and sign him for two years? They still have major questions all over the roster, including a massive one in net with Carter Hart. The acquisition of DeAngelo might also be bad news for a potential Ryan Ellis return anytime soon as the team still does not know when he will be skating or return to the lineup. He was one of their main offseason additions a year ago but was limited to just four games due to injury.
It all reeks of a team without much of a direction and a weird push for 85 points.