NEWARK, N.J. — With restricted free agent Tony DeAngelo agreeing to a one-year contract on Friday morning, the Rangers’ roster is beginning to take shape.
DeAngelo, 23, a righthanded-shooting offensive defenseman, agreed to a reported $925,000 deal, matching the one that fellow RFA Brendan Lemieux agreed to on the eve of training camp. Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton intimated that the offer had been on the table for a while for DeAngelo, who apparently had been hoping to negotiate a multiyear deal.
“I think in the end, I think he realized that the situation was what it was; it was going to be a one-year deal and it was probably smart to get in here and start playing,’’ Gorton said.
Because he did not have arbitration rights, DeAngelo, who had four goals and 30 points (the most by a defenseman on the team) in 61 games last season, had little leverage to negotiate a better deal.
Gorton said DeAngelo, who missed eight days of camp, was “on his way’’ to camp but won’t practice right away. He has to complete a physical and on-ice testing first.
The Rangers announced the signing at about the same time that their morning skate began at their Westchester County practice facility Friday. Shortly afterward, DeAngelo, a 5-11, 180-pounder from southern New Jersey, said on Twitter, “What up NYR fans. We good now?’’
Rangers coach David Quinn seemed pleased that with DeAngelo signed, the team’s roster is whole.
“It’s good to have him back,’’ Quinn said. “He’s a big part of our future and he had a real strong second half last year. Listen, there’s a business side to this, we all understand that, but we’ve been anticipating this day for a little while now, and we’re glad to have him back.’’
Notes & quotes: Jack Hughes scored the first goal of Friday night’s preseason game on a breakaway 34 seconds in against Henrik Lundqvist as the Devils won, 4-2. Taylor Hall, Blake Coleman and Michael McLeod scored for the Devils and Vlad Namestnikov and Brett Howden scored for the Rangers. Lundqvist gave up three goals on 24 shots before being replaced by Adam Huska midway through the second period. Huska gave up one goal on 16 shots . . . Defensemen Brandon Crawley, Vincent LoVerde and Darren Raddysh and right wing Jake Elmer were assigned to AHL Hartford in the morning . . . Only one player who played in Wednesday’s preseason-opening 4-3 loss to the Devils, Micheal Haley, played Friday… Quinn said left wing Artemi Panarin, who left Wednesday’s game early with what the team called a “mild groin strain,’’ was feeling better and is “day-to-day.’’ He said he anticipates that Panarin will play again before the preseason is over . . . The Rangers will play the third of their six preseason games Saturday in Philadelphia against the Flyers.
Girardi retires. Just before they announced the DeAngelo signing, the Rangers said former defenseman Dan Girardi has retired from the NHL after 13 seasons.“I gave my all every single night and left it all out on the ice,'' Girardi said in a statement released by the team. “Now it’s time for the next chapter of my life to begin and I couldn‘t be happier . . . and so is my body.” Marc Staal, Girardi’s longtime partner on defense with the Rangers, spoke to him before the announcement. “Just in talking to him, I mean, I think he's at peace,'' Staal said. “He‘s happy with it, he‘s very excited about it. I was happy for him, And you know, he gets to carry on with the rest of his life and not take slap shots to the ankles anymore. So I'm sure he‘s looking forward to that.''