It happened a little later than originally expected, but by Saturday, it’ll be official: Tony DiAngelo is no longer an employee of Philadelphia.
At around noon Friday ET, the Flyers announced that DeAngelo had been placed on unconditional waivers. Multiple team sources confirmed to the athlete It is a prelude to a purchase, which would end the Philadelphia defenseman’s tenure after just one season.
Last summer, then-general manager Chuck Fletcher traded second, third, and fourth round picks to the Carolina Hurricanes for suspended free agent DeAngelo rights, then quickly locked him up for a two-year, $10 million contract. .
New general manager Daniel Breyer decided Friday that DeAngelo, 27, will not see the second year of this contract.
Briere attempted to trade DeAngelo and came close to executing a deal to bring him back to Carolina just days before the June NHL draft. The trade would have involved the Flyers keeping 50 percent of his $5 million cap for 2023-24 — leaving them with $2.5 million on their books for next season — and receiving a low-level opportunity in return. However, the deal ultimately did not happen, due to the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which did not allow a player to be returned to their initial team within a year if the deal included salary retention—a rule intended to discourage overcapping.
The Flyers and Hurricanes made their case to the league as to why the trade didn’t violate the spirit of the rule—given the fact that it was handed over by a now-fired Philadelphia GM—but the league didn’t budge. This means the deal cannot be formally completed until July 9, a full calendar year after the initial deal was executed.
It originally seemed that both teams would stick to their initial verbal agreement. Carolina GM Don Waddell Recognized in the register on July 1 A deal was close, and multiple sources on the team believed as recently as last week that it would eventually go through.
But July 9th came and went, and no agreement was reached.
What happened to the deal with Carolina?
One possible explanation for the reason: Carolina is rumored to be vying for defenseman Erik Carlson from the San Jose Sharks. While those negotiations have not yet been resolved, there would be little reason to have both Carlson and DeAngelo – both right-handed offensive defenders – on the same roster, a roster that already includes Brent Burns, another player who fits into the same canon. .
That left the pilots with two options. They can wait in Carolina, or they can buy DeAngelo.
Noah Cates’ salary arbitration case granted the flexibility of a second buyout window, which was scheduled to open 72 hours after Cates’ contract case was resolved. Cates agreed a new two-year, $5.25 million contract on Monday, meaning that at some point on Thursday, a new 48-hour window opened for Brier, giving him the ability to buy any player on his roster for at least $4 million. He hit the maximum that was on the team at the previous trade deadline.
With the purchase, the Flyers will now have a two-season cap fee on their books. In 2023-24, there will be a cap of $1.66 million, and in 2024-25, there will be a second fee of $1.66 million.
How the DeAngelo Purchase Helps the Flyers
It’s never ideal for a team to have dead money sitting on their books. But there is a strong case to be made that this outcome is in fact preferable to the Flyers, compared to a Carolina trade that never happened, for several reasons.
First, the Flyers will open up more space for 2023-24 through an acquisition than a rumored trade. In the trade, Philadelphia had $2.5 million on its books by salary retention; By acquisition, they only have $1.66 million.
Second, while the acquisition calls for a maximum fee of $1.66 million for the 2024-25 period, it also means the Flyers won’t waste their second 2023-24 salary retention period on DeAngelo. Briere has already used one of the team’s three retention slots on Kevin Hayes for the next three seasons, and holding money in DeAngelo means the Flyers only have one remaining slot to use in 2023-24.
Now, they have two, which increases Briere’s flexibility to maximize potential returns at the deadline when he’s most likely looking to sell more players to help rebuild. The only drawbacks are DeAngelo’s lack of commercial revenue now — which always would have been minuscule — and the $1.66 million additional fee in 2024-25, another season the organization expects to be spent in the midst of rebuilding.
Drive Philly to move on
In short, the team decided he wasn’t a fit, both in terms of opening spots in the lineup for young defenders looking to develop them, and in his relationship with coach John Tortorella, which developed rapidly in the 2022-23 season. Tortorella ended up scratching DeAngelo for five straight games, including one in which the Flyers dressed only five defensemen.
DeAngelo’s defensive game — never solid, but generally not poor enough to outpace his undeniable offensive talent — dipped dramatically in 2022-23, and while Tortorella at times praised DeAngelo’s competitive attitude, in the end, the relationship between the two became over. It seems untenable.
So DeAngelo’s time in Philadelphia – who plays for his hometown club – will end on Saturday, when the takeover is officially executed.
(Photo: Nathan Ray Sibeck/USA Today)
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