Breaking news: Tony DeAngelo signs for two years

new york rangers

New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Two New York Rangers RFA’s signed, two more to go

On the heels of the announcement that Alexandar Georgiev had  signed a two year contract, the New York Rangers announced that defenseman Tony DeAngelo had inked a two year deal as well.  After a breakout season when he established himself as one of the top offensive blueliners in the NHL, DeAngelo increased his salary from $925k to $4.8 million a year on a two-year, $9.6 million deal.

By signing him, the Rangers avoid an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for next Tuesday.  This leaves the Rangers with $10,879,367 in cap space with two players till unsigned.  Brendan Lemieux and Ryan Strome are both scheduled for arbitration hearings in early November so Gorton has time to get those deals done.

While the $10.8 million in cap space may seem like a lot, the team still have to contend with other payroll issues, especially performance bonus payouts, but they are in much better shape than many other NHL teams.

There had been a lot speculation that DeAngelo would be trade bait and his signing a contract won’t end that.  The Rangers still have a surplus of right-shot defenders in the prospect pipeline and DeAngelo would be an attractive asset for any number of teams.  The idea of a third pair defender making $4.8 million a year is an issue, but some of that was assuaged when Jeff Gorton floated the idea of DeAngelo playing the left side.  In that scenario he could partner with Jacob Trouba or Adam Fox on the top two pairs.

Considering DeAngelo’s 15 goal and 53 point season, the best for a Ranger defenseman since Brian Leetch, the salary could be considered a bargain.  He ranks 62nd on the list of active NHL defensemen when it comes to cap hit.  He’s in the same neighborhood in terms of compensation with peers like Zach Werenski ($5 million), Charlie McAvoy ($4.9 million) and Sam Girard ($5 million).

With the signing of DeAngelo, the Rangers defense looks set with free agents Jack Johnson and Anthony Bitetto joining holdovers Trouba, Fox, Ryan Lindgren and Brendan Smith.

One thing about DeAngelo, he is a social media maven and clearly loves playing on the big stage in New York.  He had a message to his fans after signing.

It was a good night in Rangerstown with the team getting two young mainstays of the team under contract.   Add the signing of Alexis Lafrenière earlier this week and it was pretty, pretty good.   We’ll leave you with a tweet from the Rangers about their top pick.

Stay tuned for more.