When it comes to buying out Tony DeAngelo, Rangers general manager Chris Drury appears to be following the Lou Lamoriello principle that when you have time, you should use it.
Sources have indicated that the Blueshirts are not expected to officially cut ties with the exiled defenseman until after the Seattle expansion draft is conducted on July 21. That would leave a six-day period until the first buyout window closes on July 27.
DeAngelo, who went through waivers and was assigned to the taxi squad for the duration of the season following that Jan. 30 post-game Rumble in the Tunnel with Alex Georgiev, has one year remaining on his contract for $5.3 million and a $4.8 million cap charge.
A one-third buyout of the 25-year-old would carry a $383,333 dead cap charge for 2021-22 and an $833,333 penalty for the following season.
The buyout window opened on Friday, but the Rangers gain no advantage by getting on with the deed sooner rather than later. Indeed, keeping DeAngelo on the roster gives Drury flexibility prior to drafting his team’s protected list that must be submitted to the league on July 17.
According to regulations, teams must expose at least one defenseman under contract for next year who played at least 27 games last year or a sum of at least 54 matches the last two seasons.
With Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren sure to be protected; Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller and Zac Jones exempt; and Libor Hajek currently a restricted free agent without a contract for next season, DeAngelo and Anthony Bitetto are the only Blueshirt defensemen to meet the exposure requirement.
Though the likelihood of a trade involving Bitetto before the protected list is due would seem slim indeed, Drury does maintain the option to do so by keeping DeAngelo on the roster.