Tony DeAngelo was placed on waivers by the New York Rangers on Sunday and the defenseman did not participate in practice.
DeAngelo, who signed a two-year, $9.6 million contract ($4.8 million average annual value) on Oct. 15, has one point and a minus-6 rating in six games this season.
“It’s part of the business, it’s a decision we made,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “You’re always sitting down evaluating your organization and it’s just something we did and we’ll see how it plays out.”
DeAngelo had an assist in New York’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, when he was minus-3. He was on the ice defending Sidney Crosby when the Penguins center scored 2:27 into overtime.
DeAngelo was a healthy scratch in a 5-0 win against the against the New York Islanders on Jan. 16 after taking an unsportsmanlike penalty in the third period of their 4-0 loss to the Islanders two nights earlier. He was also a healthy scratch against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 19.
“I get the questions and I know you want more specifics, but it’s a decision we made as an organization,” Quinn said. “In 24 hours, we’ll probably be able to be more specific and address the situation differently.”
DeAngelo, who scored an NHL career-high 53 points (15 goals, 38 assists) in 68 games last season, can be claimed by another team or clear waivers at noon ET Monday. If he clears, DeAngelo can remain on the active roster, be assigned to the taxi squad or be sent to Hartford of the American Hockey League.
“This isn’t about one incident, it’s not about one thing,” Quinn said. “This is a situation that the organization felt was best at this current time and we’ll see how the situation plays out.”
Quinn said Anthony Bitetto would replace DeAngelo in the lineup and make his Rangers debut when they play against the Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, MSG+, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV).
“It’s up to the guys that we have in the room now,” Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba said. “We have a lot of good defenseman who can definitely pick up the role. [DeAngelo] was a big presence on the power play and produced a lot of points. It’s up to the guys in the room. Everybody’s got to pick up a little more slack.”
The Rangers also announced that forward Colin Blackwell will miss 7-10 days with an upper-body injury he sustained in the first period Saturday, and defenseman Jack Johnson is day to day with a lower-body injury. Goalie Alexandar Georgiev (maintenance) didn’t practice.