NHL Rumor Mill – February 2, 2021
Check out the latest on Tony DeAngelo, Sam Bennett and Victor Mete in today’s NHL rumor mill.
DeANGELO DONE AS A RANGER
NEW YORK POST: Mark Fischer yesterday reported Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton confirmed Tony DeAngelo has played his final game with the club. The 25-year-old defenseman cleared waivers yesterday and was placed on the club’s taxi squad two days following an altercation with goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Fischer reports the Rangers are trying to trade DeAngelo.
Mollie Walker cited her colleague Larry Brooks reporting Rangers rookie defenseman K’Andre Miller broke up the altercation between DeAngelo and Georgiev with no other players involved. She reports the Rangers are working closely with the defenseman’s agent, Pat Brisson, to reach a solution.
NEWSDAY: Colin Stephenson reports the Rangers and Brisson are trying to find a team willing to acquire DeAngelo via trade but it won’t be easy. None of the 30 clubs claimed him off waiver. In addition to the blueliner’s personal baggage, he carries a $4.8 million annual average value through 2021-22.
SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ryan Kennedy reports DeAngelo has courted controversy throughout his playing career, including recently trolling people on Twitter with his political views. He’s had character issues dating back to his Junior days with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, but teams willing to give him second and third chances because of his offensive abilities.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo has undeniable offensive skills but his lousy defensive play and cap hit probably contributed as much to his being passed over in waivers yesterday as his personality.
There always seems to be an NHL general manager somewhere willing to take a chance on a young player with character or maturity issues if they have a decent measure of talent potentially useful to their roster.
We’ll find out in the coming days if DeAngelo really has run out of chances. The Rangers might draw interest if they agree to pick up a healthy chunk of his salary-cap hit and/or include a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect.
BENNETT HASN’T FORMALLY REQUESTED A TRADE
SPORTSNET: Eric Francis reports sources claimed Calgary Flames management was blindsided by Elliotte Friedman’s report on Saturday that Sam Bennett’s agent, Darren Ferris, indicated his client preferred a change of scenery. However, the 24-year-old forward has not formally requested a trade.
No one is questioning Friedman’s report but they are questioning whether this was an appropriate way for Ferris to handle the situation. Bennett hasn’t spoken to the Flames’ coaches about his playing time and GM Brad Treliving wasn’t informed that Bennett might be interested in a trade.
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Bennett has yet to give his side of the story. He wonders if the forward really wants to be traded and if so why do so early in a shortened season. He also wondered if Ferris said too much too soon “or at least too publicly?” Bennett’s teammates, meanwhile, insisted this situation won’t be a distraction for them.
SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin believes Bennett could still have trade value despite his inconsistent performance, pointing to one report suggesting the Anaheim Ducks or Toronto Maple Leafs would make sense as trade partners.
However, Larkin thinks it would be risky for the Flames to trade Bennett now. Any player received in exchange would have to be quarantined for two weeks if they’re coming from a US-based club. Moving Bennett could also affect which players they protect in this summer’s Seattle expansion draft, possibly forcing them to expose one they otherwise would’ve protected if Bennett were still on the roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One theory suggests Ferris saw how the recent trade requests made by Patrik Laine, Jack Roslovic and Pierre-Luc Dubois resulted in those players getting moved and is following suit for his client. Bennett might be reluctant to talk about this but the fallout from his agent’s comments could leave him little choice. His future and status with the club will remain a lingering, unwelcome distraction if he doesn’t address it soon.
THE LATEST ON METE
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports Victor Mete’s season debut last night against the Vancouver Canucks was not an effort by the Montreal Canadiens to showcase the little-used defenseman for a trade. Darren Ferris, who also represents Mete, told reporters his camp would prefer if his client could be traded. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin denied Mete requested a trade and indicated he wasn’t going to trade him.
Canadiens coach Claude Julien said they were trying to find the right opportunity to get Mete into the lineup as they didn’t want to leave him sitting out for too long. He also said a player agent’s comments aren’t about to influence their decisions.
Engels said trading Mete would also affect the Canadiens’ blueline depth. It’s why Bergevin didn’t send Mete to the taxi squad as he would’ve been plucked off the waiver wire by another club.