In today’s NHL rumor rundown, following news that the New York Rangers waived Tony DeAngelo and that the defenseman has cleared waivers, there are troubling reports bubbling to the surface regarding this entire situation. Meanwhile, there is plenty of speculation coming out of the Calgary Flames organization. The team is denying they’ve received a trade request from forward Sam Bennett and there’s speculation about Johnny Gaudreau’s future with the franchise. Finally, the Edmonton Oilers have placed forward Alex Chiasson on waivers and Montreal Canadiens’ assistant GM Scott Mellanby has informed the team he’s not going anywhere.
Why Rangers Waived DeAngelo
DeAngelo was placed on waivers by the Rangers on Sunday and cleared waivers on Monday. The defenseman has been a lightning rod for controversy since being re-signed by the team and he wasn’t performing up to expectations so far this season. That might have been enough to warrant the Rangers electing to move on, but as per a report by Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic, the last straw occurred moments after the Rangers suffered a 5-4 overtime loss on Saturday night.
Three sources have confirmed to The Athletic that there was indeed an altercation involving DeAngelo and goalie Alexandar Georgiev in the tunnel that leads to the Rangers’ locker room. Incidentally, Georgiev was held out of practice for “maintenance” on Sunday. The altercation was quickly broken up.source – ‘Rangers place Tony DeAngelo on waivers following postgame altercation’ – Rick Carpiniello – The Athletic – 01/31/2021
When asked for confirmation of the report, Rangers head coach David Quinn said, “I’m not going to address rumors”. It was noted, however, that DeAngelo’s demotion wasn’t about one incident. “It’s a situation the organization felt was best at this current time and we’ll see how the situation plays out.”
Larry Brooks reports that it was K’Andre Miller who broke up the tussle between the two players. What happens with DeAngelo now that he’s cleared waivers is unknown.
Bennett Has Not Requested a Trade
While the Flames are not questioning Elliotte Friedman’s reporting that Bennett would like “a change of scenery”, Eric Francis of Sportsnet is reporting that team management was blindsided on Saturday by Friedman’s report. The team is shocked Bennett’s agent, Darren Ferris, would confirm his client was looking to be moved, would share the news in this manner, and says the team has not been approached about a trade, nor has a formal request been made.
Francis notes that obviously the agent didn’t make it up, but the team is questioning how a “certified agent could think this is an appropriate way to try effecting positive change for his client.”
The team is reportedly quite upset that Bennett hasn’t communicated his frustrations to anyone. The agent’s decision to go public with this hurts any potential leverage the Flames might have if Bennett is on the trade block and the organization’s beef is that if the player wants out or would like things to change, he needs to sit down with the coach and own the problem.
The timing is not great either as Bennett hasn’t exactly been the model of consistency in Calgary and this is an unnecessary distraction to the team.
Gaudreau “Destined” to Join the Flyers?
Speaking of Francis reports, the senior Calgary columnist and analyst for Sportsnet appeared on the Brotherly Pod and spoke about the future of Gaudreau with the Flames organization. Francis said, “There is zero doubt in my mind that he is not going to re-sign in Calgary,” He added, “I think he is destined for Philadelphia. I think people have thought that from the day he signed here and he’ll ultimately be a Flyer.”
Gaudreau has two years remaining on his current contract (including this season), which has a cap-hit of $6.75 million and a modified no-trade clause. That said, Francis says he thinks the Flames have got to trade the player before then. He argues that the Flames can’t have another Jarome Iginla situation on their hands and says the team can’t allow Gaudreau to simply walk away.
Francis argues that the forward’s trade value is extremely low which makes a trade difficult and that if he’s moved this season, it needs to be a “hockey trade.” However, that changes if the Flames don’t accomplish anything in this year’s postseason. Francis suggests that the cries in Calgary will be “to blow this thing up” and if that happens, Gaudreau could be traded for futures.
Mellanby Pulls Himself From Penguins’ GM Race
The Montreal Canadiens had given permission to assistant general manager Scott Mellanby to interview for the vacant full-time GM position with the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to a report by TVA’s Renaud Lavoie on Sunday, Mellanby has turned an interview down.
Lavoie writes that Mellanby is happy with the Canadiens and informed the team he doesn’t want to go anywhere, especially while the team is playing so well. Mellanby has also reportedly said he won’t be interviewing for any upcoming GM openings.
As for the Penguins, they still have another 19 candidates or so they can interview and Ron Hextall is one of the early favorites to land the GM job.
Oilers Place Chiasson on Waivers
The Edmonton Oilers have placed Chiasson on waivers according to multiple sources, including Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. The veteran winger played around 11 minutes last night in Edmonton’s win over the Ottawa Senators, but he’s an expensive 13th forward who hasn’t made it into the lineup every night.
The Oilers may actually hope that another team claims Chiasson and his $2.15 million salary, but it’s not terribly likely that happens. If he doesn’t get claimed, the organization will still have more flexibility with their Taxi Squad and this move should allow the team to get a player like Evan Bouchard into the lineup and on the team’s blue line Tuesday night.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”