Training camp is underway for the New York Rangers and the Blueshirts are starting without important defenseman Tony DeAngelo.
DeAngelo was one of two players yet to receive a new contract until Brendan Lemieux signed late Wednesday night, leaving DeAngelo as the only key roster piece unsigned as training camp starts.
In addressing the media for the first time this season, team president John Davidson was not necessarily disappointed in DeAngelo being a no show, telling USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano “it’s up to Tony. He can come to camp any time he wants.”
DeAngelo is the first Ranger since Derek Stepan to hold out of training camp while negotiating a new deal fresh off their entry-level deal. Stepan ended up signing a two-year bridge deal before signing a long-term extension with the club in 2015.
After signing Lemieux, New York only has $1.16 million in cap space according to CapFriendly, leaving the likelihood of a long-term deal before the season starts unlikely. Along with DeAngelo, New York still has to determine Chris Kreider’s fate.
Even with the well-documented character issues DeAngelo has seen throughout his career, he established himself as an important piece for the Rangers’ blueline in 2019-20. He along Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Jacob Trouba, and Brendan Smith are the only blueline members with legitimate NHL game experience. His absence will only create another hole on a team looking to make the playoffs for the first time in two seasons.
He becomes just one of the many restricted free agents to not join their respected teams at training camp.