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Tony DeAngelo must prove the hurricanes were right to give him another chance

Word began to spread over the weekend that the Hurricanes were planning to sign Tony DeAngelo when free agency opened. Carolina fans quickly exploded on social media in their response to the reports. The news became official on Wednesday as DeAngelo signed a one-year, $ 1 million contract.

“We’ve done our research and who this person is beyond what the perception of him is,” CEO Don Waddell said on a call with reporters after the deal was announced. “There is no doubt that he made mistakes. We recognize him and more importantly he recognizes that he made mistakes and he knows he has to keep working and growing as a person. “

The words of Waddell, who also mentioned that he spoke to DeAngelo’s teammates – assuming that includes ex-Rangers Brady Skjei and Jesper Fast, who are now with Carolina – and the coaches, are eerily similar to Jeff’s words. Gorton last February.

On February 1, the then-New York general manager announced that the defenseman had “played his last game for the Rangers” after clearing the waivers. DeAngelo never skated for the Original Six franchise again after he and goaltender Alexander Georgiev had a physical altercation outside the locker room following an overtime loss to the Penguins on Jan.30.

“We did a lot of research, told a lot of people about Tony before we bought him (from the Coyotes in 2017),” Gorton noted to his presser. “Everything went there when we did that. We did our homework, we felt comfortable.”

DeAngelo was bought out by the Rangers a few days ago, making him a free agent.

“A lot of things that have happened in my career have been emotions related to competition,” DeAngelo said Wednesday, speaking to mainstream media for the first time since January. “There have never been any problems off the ice or anything like that. It just comes from having a high level of competition for the game and passion for the game. I think I made mistakes in the process. road obviously, things that I regretted I tried to improve it, it only remains for me to prove it to the Hurricanes.

“They felt comfortable bringing me in. I told them I won’t let them down and that I’m a man of my word. So that’s what I intend to do.”

The New York incident was not an isolated moment.

He has been suspended three times as a junior – once for abuse of officials and twice for breaking the league’s policy of keeping “homophobic, racist and sexist language out of the game”. He also took to social media to express his political views (he tweeted “what happened to COVID-19?” After the 2020 US presidential election) and criticized and chatted with fans ( he challenged one to fight). During his Zoom call on Wednesday, he was asked if he supported the insurgency on Capitol Hill on January 6, to which he replied: “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would support this, so obviously I don’t. did not support him. “

An incident, okay. Several ? It is a clear model.

Waddell said the team, including coach Rod Brind’Amour, felt comfortable with the decision. He mentioned that DeAngelo had “worked with people to try to help him understand what his actions meant to people,” although neither he nor DeAngelo went into details.

“Obviously I’ve had some free time since early February after leaving New York,” said the New Jersey native. “It’s just about trying to control your emotions as best you can and not letting the emotions get the best of you and make mistakes. So we’ve done a lot of work. ‘there has been a lot of progress. “

Progress or not, it’s certainly an interesting move for the Hurricanes. There is no doubt that DeAngelo is a good hockey player. The 25-year-old defenseman has scored 53 points in 68 games in 2019-20 and is expected to play a key role in Carolina’s power play. He was only given a million dollars (an easy contract to bury, if necessary), and as Waddell said, his value is more than that on paper. This is the ultimate “show me” deal – and it’s not about producing points.

Fans aren’t too inclined to think of DeAngelo’s actions on the ice alone. A number of them spoke of no longer supporting the club, a club that wraps around “Hockey is for everyone”.

“I said and did things that stemmed from being on the ice that I regret, and I’m not going to sit here and say I didn’t do it, but I regret it and I pass to something else, ”DeAngelo said. “You have to become a better person and control her. I’m not going to act like this never happened. I think once they [the fans] watch me play, they’ll see me on the ice more than anything. “

“I hope they don’t cancel their subscriptions,” he added. “There are a lot of good players in the squad, it’s a great organization. Stay with us, give me a chance and I’ll do my best for you guys.”

Well, Tony, as Waddell said, “The proof is in the pudding.”

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