The New York Rangers at the moment discover themselves sitting within the sixth spot within the extremely aggressive Metropolitan Division and 5 factors again from the second wild-card place. Even with the itch to return to the playoffs for the primary time for the reason that 2016-17 season, one main situation continues to loom over the crew’s playoff hopes: the defensive effort. The Rangers are within the bottom-half of the standings for loads of defensive statistics, together with photographs allowed per recreation, objectives allowed per recreation and penalty killing.
New York Rangers have fun (AP Photograph/Frank Franklin II)
Defenseman Tony DeAngelo has been one of many vibrant spots on the roster, however can basic supervisor Jeff Gorton afford to lock him as much as a long-term contract? If the Rangers start to fall additional out of the playoff image, there are a number of the explanation why DeAngelo must be thought-about to be on the best way out of New York.
DeAngelo is turning into among the best offensive defensemen for the Rangers in latest reminiscence. The previous 2014 first-round choice has tallied 23 factors in 33 video games performed, which is sweet sufficient for essentially the most out of Rangers’ defenseman, in addition to tied for third-most factors on the crew. Scoring an output of seven objectives and 16 assists places him within the top-15 in NHL factors for defenseman. Not too shabby for the 24-year-old restricted free agent, who’s taking part in on a one-year deal that was signed final summer season.
Tony DeAngelo, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
For sure, DeAngelo will garner curiosity on the February 2020 commerce deadline, particularly if he continues his dazzling begin to the 2019-20 marketing campaign for the Blueshirts. On the commerce deadline final season, the Buffalo Sabres acquired defenseman Brandon Montour from the Anaheim Geese in alternate for prospect Brendan Guhle and a 2019 first-round decide.
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Montour solely totaled 25 factors in 62 video games for the Geese in 2018-19 earlier than being dealt. DeAngelo, who’s at the moment on tempo for 57 factors, might be an attractive commerce chip for Gorton on the deadline and will assist the Rangers get a big return.
Can the Rangers Afford DeAngelo?
The Rangers fortunately signed DeAngelo to a team-friendly, one-year deal value $925,000 in the summertime of 2019. On tempo for 57 factors for the 2019-20 season will see him calling for a serious pay enhance on his subsequent contract and he’ll almost certainly be in search of a prolonged time period as effectively. Along with his manufacturing at a profession excessive, he might be asking for a brand new deal that’s above $four million in common annual worth.
New York Rangers’ Tony DeAngelo is congratulated by the bench (AP Photograph/Mary Altaffer)
For the Rangers and Gorton, this shall be one of many crew’s greatest points close to the deadline, and within the offseason if it will get to that time. The Blueshirts are already in a decent spot with the wage cap, particularly contemplating that the Rangers may have about $7.5 million in useless house in opposition to the cap in 2020-21, paying buyout penalties for Kevin Shattenkirk ($6 million), Dan Girardi ($1.1 million) and wage retention on Ryan Spooner ($300,000). The Rangers can even have Chris Kreider to re-sign after the present season, assuming he isn’t dealt on the deadline. With all of those components in play, can the Rangers actually afford to signal DeAngelo to a long-term deal?
The Future Is Coming
The Rangers have probably the most gifted prospect pipelines in respect to the protection. The likes of Joey Keane, Okay’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist are all performing superbly of their present roles away from the NHL degree and they’re all broadly thought-about because the defensive way forward for the Blueshirts. With loads of talent developing for the Rangers within the subsequent few years, DeAngelo begins to look increasingly more expendable regardless of his present efficiency for the mid-tier gifted Rangers.
Okay’Andre Miller, New York Rangers, 2018 NHL Draft, Dallas, TX, June 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Keane is taking part in with the Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, and has 21 factors up to now, which is sweet sufficient for third-most amongst defensemen within the AHL this season. Miller had 22 factors in 26 video games and made the Large Ten’s all-rookie crew taking part in for Wisconsin in 2018-19. Lastly, Lundkvist has grown into his recreation and has put up 17 factors in 24 video games thus far this season taking part in in Sweden. With loads of talent developing for the Rangers within the subsequent few years, DeAngelo begins to look increasingly more expendable regardless of his present efficiency for the mid-tier gifted Rangers.
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What’s subsequent for DeAngelo and the Rangers? Gorton must resolve whether or not to retain his prospering defenseman or to look in direction of the longer term and unload DeAngelo earlier than the 2020 deadline, whereas his commerce worth is at its peak.