Tony DeAngelo got back into Carolina's lineup last night for the first time since playing just over 3 minutes on January 5th. Before that, he suited up last on December 17th. Just three games played in almost 2 months is telling what the future in Carolina will be for DeAngelo.
The NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching with the All-Star break done. DeAngelo came back to Raleigh on a one-year deal this summer for a very affordable salary of $1,675,000. At 28 years old, the former 19th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft has had a rollercoaster career in the NHL. Offensive production has never been a concern for DeAngelo but his attitude and defensive inabilities have.
Having a successful season with the Canes just two years ago, it was worth a shot to give him a chance but this defensive group is very deep. Playing time was always going to be a concern for DeAngelo when he returned to Carolina. Jalen Chatfield continues to progress into a solid NHL defenseman and that means far less opportunity for the New Jersey native.
It has not been a success on the ice for DeAngelo but no off-ice concerns are always good for the future of his career and more importantly his immediate future. With no role seen on this squad and capable call-ups in the AHL like Dylan Coghlan, an All-Star this season, the roster spot for DeAngelo is not stable.
A power play threat, a playoff contender struggling on the man advantage would surely consider trading for DeAngelo and his affordable salary. It would be a low-risk, high reward scenario for the remainder of the season.
The illness for Brett Pesce may have come at the perfect time as it gave Rod Brind'Amour a chance to get DeAngelo some time on the ice to show any suitors that he can still play. It gives the team a chance to rest a player like Pesce, even if he would be able to play. Any potential trade partner would like to get eyes on DeAngelo in NHL action, even if it is just for 10-11 minutes a night.
Do not be surprised to see DeAngelo back in the lineup on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils to spare Pesce one more game. The former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman has just 2 goals and 9 points on the season in 22 games played. However, both goals and 5 points are on the man advantage.