In an exclusive interview with the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, Tony DeAngelo opened up to set the record straight on the person he really is off the ice. His social media persona painted him in a light that led many opinionated people to draw their own conclusions about the type of teammate and character DeAngelo was. Still, according to the man himself and those who played with him, those assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth.
The most compelling quote that came from the whole story was DeAngelo’s testament to his own character, which he gives very bluntly:
I’m not a racist, I’m not an extremist and I’m not an insurrectionist.(from ‘Tony DeAngelo bares his soul in first comments since Rangers exile,’ NY Post, 02/13/21)
As Brooks points out, the narrative of DeAngelo’s racist past made it nearly impossible for the New York Rangers to keep the 25-year-old, whose off-ice issues stem back to his OHL days when he was suspended for violating the league’s harassment and diversity policy. But, as discovered by Brooks, “The Post has learned that the slur he directed at a Caucasian teammate was ethnic in nature, not related to race.”
By no means does this justify his actions, but it does exemplify that the public and fans’ perceived notions might be slightly misplaced. Former teammate Marc Staal, who now plays for the Detroit Red Wings, opened up about DeAngelo as well:
There has never been any indication at all that Tony has racist tendencies, No. 18 told The Post. I hear these things about him, and it’s as if they’re talking about a different person. The guys here in Detroit, they’re all super-curious about him. I feel bad for him, to be honest. Whether it’s the junior stuff that warps into this, I don’t know. He’s a lightning rod, and yeah, he yells at coaches and referees and he has these moments where he goes overboard, but he’s a good teammate.
It is a situation that will continue to reappear as long as DeAngelo remains a member of the Rangers, even though he’ll never wear their sweater ever again. But the polarization between the original reports and what has since been released by credible sources is a prime example as to why all of us need to analyze things before jumping to conclusions about someone we’ve never met. He may not be the ideal role model, but he certainly is not this heinous presence that he was depicted as these past few months.
One Goal Short Yet Again
After a four-game stretch that saw the Rangers go 3-0-1, the Blueshirts have now dropped three-straight games, including back-to-back one-goal losses to the division-leading Boston Bruins. A 3-2 OT loss followed up by a 1-0 defeat means that the Rangers’ offense has mustered just two goals over the past three games, lowering their lackluster goals for per game total to 2.38, good for 27th in the NHL.
The latest edition of the Rangers falling just short has forced their total games lost by a one-goal margin to balloon to seven on the season. Losses are always frustrating, but to be competitive in every game and continually fall short has to be incredibly disheartening.
Jacob Trouba, one of the veteran leaders on this young Rangers team, gave his thoughts to Mollie Walker of the NY Post about the continued battles which have seen his team falling just short in:
We’ve been saying this for a while now, it’s not good enough to lose games by a goal, Trouba said. You’ve got to win games, you’ve got to find a way to get points and especially in the shortened season we’ve got to find a way to win hockey games. Let’s move on.(from ‘Rangers show fight but get blanked by Bruins’ by Mollie Walker of the NY Post – 02/12/21)
As encouraging as their compete level has been, their offensive production has been equally discouraging. The Rangers’ power play’s 11.5% effectiveness has caused them to fall in games where they have had numerous chances to even up the score or jump in front of their opposition. Yet, they sit at 4-6-3 and look to bounce back on Tuesday (if the game takes place) against the New Jersey Devils.
When Is Tthe Next Game?
With the Rangers’ next three games currently up in the air, we are unsure when this group will retake the ice. The league postponed Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Rangers are slated to play the Devils Tuesday and the same Flyers Thursday, both of whom have been battling COVID-19. With the lack of certainty surrounding the Rangers’ schedule, this time off to recuperate could serve the team well, especially all-star Artemi Panarin.
Panarin, who suffered an injury in Wednesday’s loss to the Bruins, missed Friday’s game and is currently listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. The consensus best player on the roster was the only genuine offensive threat over the early part of this season, with his absence being felt mightily on Friday. Hopefully, by the time we see the Rangers back in action, number 10 will be ready to go.
Brendan Azoff is a THW contributor and podcast host dedicated to covering the New York Rangers. His passion for hockey started when he first laced up the skates at three, growing into his love for writing and talking about the greatest sport in the world. His podcast, The Backcheck, breaks down the Rangers, Islanders, and NHL news and can be found on The Hockey Writers Podcast Network and Belly Up Sports. Brendan has been writing about the Rangers and the NHL for over two years, with his content also found on Puck Prose, Blue Line Station, and E2G Sports. If you want to connect with Brendan and stay up-to-date on his posts, follow him on Twitter. He is always available for content ideas and interviews, don’t be afraid to ask!