The Philadelphia Flyers clearly had a player in mind heading into the second day of the 2022 NHL Draft and gave up a ton to get him.
Minutes before the second round officially kicked off, the Flyers moved mountains to add some offensive pop to their blueline, sending a second, third, and fourth-round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for embattled defenseman Tony DeAngelo before signing him to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $5 million.
The details of the deal, which now ties DeAngelo to Philadelphia through the 2023-24 season, such as its salary structure and the inclusion of any trade protection have yet to be revealed.
It's a bold move, to say the least.
Talent has never been the problem with DeAngelo. The 26-year-old racked up an impressive 10 goals and 41 assists for 51 points in 64 games for the Hurricanes last season, averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time per night and anchoring the team's top power play unit.
Off the ice, though, has always been where things get tricky. DeAngelo has been suspended multiple times throughout his hockey career for directing slurs at teammates and opponents, as well as abusing officials, and was summarily banished from the New York Rangers organization entirely during the 2021 season for reportedly getting into a fight with his own goaltender.
Despite scoring 53 points and signing a two-year deal worth $4.5 million the prior season, the Rangers believed that their team would be better off if DeAngelo was nowehere near it in 2021, with no other team opting to take a chance on him for the rest of the year.
Obviously, the Hurricanes made good behavior a requirement for the young defender when acquiring him last summer. And he mostly made good on his promise. But signing DeAngelo to any long-term deal is always going to be a risky proposition, regardless of how well he performs on the ice.
For the Flyers to pay the price they did just to do so is a whole other story.
Effectively gutting their mid-round draft capital in order to give a player a two-year contract mere days before they could have otherwise done so for free is a curious decision. But GM Chuck Fletcher and the entire Flyers organization clearly want to compete sooner rather than later. And DeAngelo, at least on paper, gets them closer to that goal.
The second round has just begun and the trades are already flying. Stay tuned as the action continues.