The Metropolitan Division looks different than it did just a few weeks ago. Trades have been made, the free agent frenzy is over and teams are finalizing their rosters. There may be a few late moves coming later, but as of now, which team made the worst move of the offseason? Andrew Gillis and JJ Regan discuss.
Andrew: Tony DeAngelo signing, Carolina Hurricanes
Allow me to start off by saying that Tony DeAngelo is, in fact, a talented hockey player.
He’s a defenseman that can score and is generally an excellent possession player. As a right-handed shot that can drive play, there’s not much to dislike about his puck-moving style of play on the ice. The problem is his off-ice conduct is downright offensive and problematic.
DeAngelo, 25, was drafted by the Lightning in 2014 before being traded to the Coyotes in 2016. He was shipped off a year later to the Rangers, who placed him on unconditional waivers on July 23 of this year. Five days later, the Hurricanes were more than eager to scoop him up to a $1 million contract.
In his career, DeAngelo was suspended twice in the OHL including for violating the league policy covering “homophobic, racist and sexist language,” toward a teammate, as well as abuse of officials. With the Coyotes, he was suspended for three games for physical abuse of officials. Then, the last straw with the Rangers came when he was reportedly involved in an altercation with his goaltender, Alexandar Georgiev, in the tunnel. He was waived shortly thereafter.
His career has been littered with suspensions for his conduct off-ice, benchings for maturity issues and wild interactions with fans over social media involving politics.
The Hurricanes allowed that into their locker room. Apparently, the risk of completely overturning the locker room with a talented player is worth $1 million.
JJ: Alex Nedeljkovic trade, Carolina Hurricanes
How do you know a team had a bad offseason? When we both pick different moves from the same team as the worst move in the division.
The Hurricanes have been building something special the last few years, but with a question mark in the net. Petr Mrazek and James Reimer are not good enough to take a team over the top as a championship contender. Alex Nedeljkovic, however, looked like an up-and-coming NHL starter so it was stunning to see Carolina trade him away to Detroit for a just third-round draft pick.
In 2021 as a rookie, Nedeljkovic went 15-5-3 with a .932 save percentage and 1.90 GAA. In the playoffs, he managed. a .920 save percentage and 2.17 GAA in nine games. He is only 25. Carolina traded him away because they could not get a deal done and they did not want to risk him going to arbitration. That would be reasonable if Nedeljkovic didn't turn around and sign a two-year deal for $6 million with Detroit.
That was too rich for Carolina? Even if he was looking for more money from the Hurricanes, if he was willing to sign a contract like that with one of the worst teams in the NHL, you have to think a deal could have gotten done in Carolina if the Hurricanes had really wanted to.
This is a player who addressed the team's biggest weakness both for now and the future. Yet, the Hurricanes scoffed at what looks like a reasonable and affordable contract, traded him away to avoid arbitration and only got a third-round pick for him in return. Plus, now they have a goalie tandem of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta which looks about his reliable as its former tandem of Mrazek and Reimer. Trading away Nedeljkovic was a bafflingly horrible move.