EDMONTON, Alberta — Tony DeAngelo’s skating ability, on-ice vision and passing are elite. He’s shown it over and over again. But the 23-year-old defenseman always has been more complicated than how he’s perceived on the ice. During his career, he’s never seemed to be able to stay out of his coach’s doghouse.
D’Angelo found himself in that position again Monday. David Quinn scratched him against the Oilers, replacing him with Freddie Claesson, who had been out six games.
“He’s made a lot of progress and a lot of strides, and we’ve all watched what he’s done on the ice, and he’s made a lot of strides off the ice, too, like all young players have to make,’’ Quinn said in explaining his decision to scratch his leading scorer among defensemen. “But there are certain things that are non-negotiable, and what other factor plays into it is, we think we’ve got guys that can play. And Freddie’s been out for a while, so as I’ve told all of them, ‘I’m looking for reasons to take people out,’ because I think all these guys deserve to play. And he gave me a small reason to take him out.’’
Quinn chose not to reveal what earned the benching but said, “He’s had a really good year and he’ll be back soon.’’
Good news on Hajek
The news on defenseman Libor Hajek, 21, was better than expected, though Quinn doesn’t think the rookie will return this season. The team feared Hajek had a separated left shoulder after getting hit Saturday by the Devils’ Blake Coleman.
Brickley in for Andersson
Also scratched was Lias Andersson in favor of Connor Brickley, who had been scratched for three games and missed another with the flu. “I wanted to get Brickley back in,’’ Quinn said. “It’s just going to be one of those situations for all of our guys, really, because we think we’ve got a lot of guys that can play, and I don’t want certain guys sitting too long.’’