Now goaltender Alexander Georgiev is poised to become Colorado’s No. 1, while defenseman Tony Deangelo rebuilt his reputation with a great season at the Carolinas and moved to his childhood favorite team, Philadelphia. Their careers are moving up, although at certain times they seriously sagged for various reasons. Georgiev drooped behind Igor Shesterkin, and Deangelo fell into disgrace a year and a half ago and missed most of the season after a fight with the Russian goalkeeper. On the Cam & Strick podcast the day before, DeAngelo spoke for the first time about the events leading up to his departure from the Rangers. He admits that he was wrong and got excited, but he believes that the press made an elephant out of a fly, and the club’s management treated him unfairly.
The Carolinas traded Deangelo to the Philadelphia for three draft picks.
When did your reputation go off the rails? All the guys I talked to said nothing but good things about you. Did you have problems in the OHL, how did you get disqualified there for teasing a teammate?
— I will not go into details, but we had a terrible team. We ended the season in last place in the CHL. There were a lot of fights that could go too far. And I’m the kind of guy that always wants to win, for me every match is like the seventh. Discontent grew. Somehow a fight started, and I said something that I shouldn’t have said, and I regret it.
In my opinion, this should have been dealt with within the team, but it came to the league, so there was a lot of noise. I know I shouldn’t have said what I said. But you can’t take back the words, what could I do? I apologized to this guy. We are not enemies and, in fact, we are still friends, this summer we played three-on-three hockey together.
I made a mistake and learned from it, but this story was blown up in the press. I was disqualified for arguing with another player. The league has certain rules, but if in the old days I said something like that during a match, no one would blink an eye. And now for such words you can get disqualified.
Yes, I got myself into trouble. It was the year of the draft, and at the combine, I myself told all the clubs exactly what happened. In some clubs, they turned on the fool and waited for me to tell myself, so I laid everything out to everyone at once. He said – I know that you know, but I’m not going to play around and lie, because you’ll find out everything yourself anyway. If you are interested in me, then you are interested, if not, I understand everything.
– Did the clubs find out about your reputation this summer before the exchange?
– I will never stir up this story, sneak around and tell some things that definitely happened. The Rangers bought my contract, I took the brunt and I’m not going to turn the arrows. But I don’t think it should have ended like this. I needed to be exchanged. They bought out a $5 million player who had a great season. Given my reputation, of course, people began to think that something very serious had happened. But if they hadn’t just put me in a match and traded me a couple of days later, no one would have thought of anything. The Rangers had Truba, Fox in my position, so such an exchange would not have aroused suspicion.
But when I was bought out, false stories began to appear in the press. For example, that I mocked K’Andre Miller, and this was already a hint of racism. First the junior disqualification story, then this completely false story… K’Andre is a great young player who we got on well with even though we had only known each other for a couple of months.
This bike was replicated 40 thousand times, people believed it, remembering my reputation. It is clear why everyone believed, but I was already disqualified once in junior. But I didn’t like it. And I didn’t like that the club didn’t support me in any way. They wanted to get rid of me so badly that they didn’t try to protect me at all. They didn’t try to trade, they just decided to bury me.
I survived it, I was ready to miss the season. Before the deadline, I myself offered to break the contract in order to play again. But it didn’t work out, and after the deadline, there were rumors that it was the Rangers who offered me to break the contract, and I refused. It wasn’t true.
This summer I talked to many people, everyone checked the information on me and found out that I have a good relationship with my teammates and never had a problem with it. Yes, there was a case in junior, but this is not the first time something happens between teammates. This is the NHL, what, no one here ever argues or fights?
The Rangers were ready to terminate DeAngelo’s contract. Montreal was interested in the player
– And what happened to Alex Georgiev? It was your last match for the Rangers.
“I said something to him on the way to the locker room. Yes, it was impossible to do this, here I was wrong. We just lost in overtime, he was already angry. If I were him, I would turn around and answer. He turned around and tried to strike, but it quickly faded away. I’m not the type to jump on, especially off the ice.
Everything seemed to calm down, but then other things happened, I wanted an exchange. Personally, I like Queenie (at that time the head coach of the Rangers. – Approx. “Championship”), but we didn’t always see eye to eye on work. The next morning, no one called me, they just said goodbye to me, put me up for a draft bounce. That’s all. I think it’s all too exaggerated.
– You still can’t climb on the goalkeeper after the match …
– I understand this and I am always responsible for my actions, but I think that it was impossible to make everything public. There is a certain code that must be followed. I’m not saying that the club did wrong, I would have preferred to be traded, not just kicked out. But I’m not going to blame anyone. They broke up with me, they didn’t take me out of the waiver draft. When they called me from other clubs, I said yes, I’m a hot guy. Yes, I made a mistake, but I’m ready to move on and play. So I went to Carolina, played under a great coach, and played well.
“Davidson, Gorton, or Quinn ever contacted you after that?”
– It’s funny how it all turned out. I didn’t like that they didn’t exchange me, they took everything to the public, after which I became the number one enemy in New York. It was noticeable in the playoffs. But personally, I had a good relationship with John Davidson, and Jeff Gorton, and David Quinn. Yes, we didn’t always get along with Quinn as a coach, but he’s a good guy, anyone will say that. I also liked Gorts, we communicated well with his son, he spent a lot of time in the arena. Davidson is also a good person, he congratulated me on my move to Philadelphia. I can’t say anything bad about them. The only moment, and I said it directly to them and publicly, I believe that I should have been exchanged. I will never agree that it was impossible. When the whole story surfaced, then, of course, the exchange became impossible. But if no one knew anything, and they acted like they just wanted to trade an extra right-handed defender, I’m sure there would be no problem with this.
“Carolina” gave a chance to the defender, who fought with Georgiev. Now he’s one of the best in the NHL.
What were you doing for the rest of the season when you were put up for the waiver draft?
— Went to the rink, trained. I got calls from 17 clubs, and at some point I said: “You know what? I will terminate my contract if I find a suitable option for myself.” But then nothing happened, and in the offseason, all the same teams began to show interest in me again. And to be honest, it was often the owners who said “No” because they didn’t want such PR. But I understand everything, this is a business. The agent says that now many clubs regret that they did not take me then. But I’m happy with how it all turned out, that I got to Carolina, played with Brindamor, met a lot of cool people.