NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2023
NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2023
Questions over Tony DeAngelo’s future with the Flyers plus the latest Flames speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHAT’S GOING ON WITH TONY DEANGELO?
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall recently reported eyebrows were raised when Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo was made a healthy scratch for three straight games. He felt the move probably wasn’t due to his on-ice performance, especially when DeAngelo’s benching for Sunday’s game against the Bruins left the Flyers with just five defensemen.
DeAngelo leads all Flyers blueliners this season with 42 points. Hall speculated he hasn’t played as well defensively as head coach John Tortorella would prefer.
THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor reports Tortorella offered no explanation for benching DeAngelo for the Flyers’ 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. “He’s out. And I’ve talked to him,” Tortorella told reporters yesterday. “He knows where he stands with me. And that’s where we’re gonna go with it.” The Flyers coach declined to say if DeAngelo would play in the club’s season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
O’Connor felt it might be due to assistant coach Rocky Thompson’s remarks following the Flyers’ loss to the St. Louis Blues in which he said some of his players didn’t seem to be trying.
It is raising questions about DeAngelo’s future with the rebuilding club after this season. If the Flyers were to trade DeAngelo this summer, O’Connor believes they’ll have to retain some salary. He has a year remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo played his way off the New York Rangers in 2020-21 after clashing with teammates early in that season. He had a solid bounce-back performance last season with the Carolina Hurricanes but they opted not to re-sign him.
As Hall and O’Connor observed, Tortorella frequently defended DeAngelo this season but things seem to have soured of late. Both sides are keeping this to themselves thus far.
The Flyers could find it difficult to trade DeAngelo this summer. He lacks no-trade protection but is earning $5 million annually on his current contract. The 27-year-old defenseman generates offense from the blueline but his defensive game has long been an issue.
LATEST ON THE FLAMES
SPORTSNET: Eric Francis wondered about the future of the Calgary Flames after they were eliminated earlier this week from playoff contention. He believes neither general manager Brad Treliving or head coach Darryl Sutter are certain to return next season.
Treliving’s contract expires at the end of this season. Despite an earlier offer from ownership, he could opt to depart this summer. Sutter’s two-year contract extension ($4 million annually) is set to start next season but ownership could have questions over his inability to get the most out of his players this season.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri struggled in their first seasons with the Flames. Francis wondered if they or other players might ask to be traded if Sutter stays. He also noted that those players eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer (including Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli, Mikael Backlund, and Noah Hanifin) might not wish to sign contract extensions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The priority will be deciding Treliving’s fate. If he returns, perhaps the Flames decide this season was an aberration and hope for a better outlook in 2023-24. A new general manager, however, could opt to shake things up.
Flames ownership might not be keen to replace Sutter and have those two years of his contract extension burning a hole in their wallets. Perhaps they’ll decide they need to bring in players better suited for his system.
I’ll be surprised if Huberdeau and Kadri ask to be traded. However, those players slated for UFA status next summer could force the issue for themselves by telling management they won’t re-sign.
It’s going to be another interesting summer in Calgary.