The New York Rangers placed defenseman Tony DeAngelo on waivers Sunday, a decision that was apparently fueled in part by an altercation that occurred after the team's 5-4 overtime loss against the Penguins on Saturday night.
According to The Athletic's Rick Carpiniello, DeAngelo and Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev were involved in a brief altercation inside the tunnel leading to the team's locker room immediately following the loss. DeAngelo was on the ice for Pittsburgh's overtime goal while Georgiev was in net for the Rangers.
On Monday, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton confirmed there was an incident that occurred with DeAngelo, but no specific details were given.
While Gorton wouldn't give information on the incident, he did say DeAngelo has played his last game as a New York Ranger.
The altercation was reportedly broken up quickly but DeAngelo was placed on waivers Sunday morning, meaning the other 30 NHL clubs will have a chance to claim the 25-year-old defenseman, and he did not practice with the team. DeAngelo has two years remaining on his current contract at $4.8 million AAV.
After the incident was confirmed by several sources close to the team, some details began to emerge on social media -- some also included involvement from veteran winger Chris Kreider.
Here's what we know: Tony DeAngelo started a fight with Alex Georgiev after last night's OTL to Pitt. A miscommunication between the 2 led to the OT winner.— David Shapiro (@BlueSeatBlogs) January 31, 2021
Here's what we think we know: Chris Kreider, it is rumored, stepped in and punched DeAngelo in the face. #NYR
For what it's worth, Rangers coach David Quinn did not confirm or deny the incident in question.
"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."
It appears that this might be the final straw for DeAngelo in New York. In addition to his poor play this season (1 point in six games and a minus-6), the Rangers have seemingly grown tired of the defenseman's conduct away from the ice. His behavior on social media has drawn criticism, enough to the point where he's been disciplined by the team on several occasions. He recently deactivated his Twitter account and promised to move to the social media site Parler.
DeAngelo also has a history of problematic behavior on the ice, as he was suspended twice in the OHL for violating the league's harassment, abuse and diversity policy. He was also suspended for abuse of an official while playing for the Arizona Coyotes in 2017.
While we may have to wait on confirmation of specifics from Saturday's incident, it seems as though DeAngelo's time with the Rangers could be coming to an end. The question now becomes whether another NHL team will be willing to give him another shot.