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Everybody Owes Tony DeAngelo An Apology

Tony DeAngelo
Everybody owes Tony DeAngelo an apology. DeAngelo has been a rockstar for the Hurricanes. Carolina couldn’t miss Dougie Hamilton less. (Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Everybody Owes Tony DeAngelo An Apology

Dougie who? The Carolina Hurricanes are on top of the world and look like the best hockey team on the planet during the early stages of the 2021-22 season. Carolina made a flurry of moves this offseason but none has been more important than the addition of Tony DeAngelo this offseason. DeAngelo has gone from the dog house to the penthouse and we ALL owe him an apology.

We knew that DeAngelo had a troubled past off the ice but the talent was always there. It appears that what DeAngelo actually needed was a respected winning culture. Rod Brind’Amour is arguably the best coach in the NHL and this Hurricanes team is loaded. Playing on a prove it deal, DeAngelo has THRIVED with the Canes.

Humans often have short memories. DeAngelo barely played a year ago after an altercation with a teammate during his Rangers tenure. However, the year prior, DeAngelo put up an ungodly 53 points in 68 games. A hell of a mark for a defenseman. In fairness, Hockey Guy Trey has only been in existence for a little over a year so I’m allowed to be shocked by this development.

What I was not shocked about is the Dougie Hamilton factor. Carolina let Hamilton walk this offseason and it’s been the best decision they ever made. The Canes are paying DeAngelo a fraction of what Hamilton is making with the Devils. Furthermore, DeAngelo is just flat out the better player. Not a debate.

Hamilton is a great quarterback for a power play. That’s his strength. DeAngelo has stuck Hamilton in his back pocket and made him look like a peasant. Hamilton has a ton of offensive skill but DeAngelo is just DIFFERENT. I’m sorry but Dougie boy wasn’t doing stuff like this last year.

An unreal pass by DeAngelo to set up a goal.

This isn’t meant to disparage Hamilton per se. Dougie had a lot to do with Carolina ranking second in power play percentage a year ago. 18 of his 42 points came from the power play a year ago. It’s what made the Canes dangerous a year ago but they still never felt like a real contender. They were bounced quickly by Tampa Bay. Hamilton had plenty of imperfections that frankly held the Canes back.

Hamilton spent 35 minutes in the penalty box last year. Jake Bean, Brett Pesce, and Jaccob Slavin combined for a total of 32 minutes in the box. Hamilton’s bone headed mistakes put the Canes behind the eight ball and frankly at times overshadowed his offense. Hamilton loved to give the puck away and commit a stupid penalty all in one shot. That’s not happening anymore.

Pesce and Slavin are still defensive mosters while DeAngelo has surpassed what Hamilton can do offensively without the idiotic mistakes. Okay, DeAngelo has spent a lot of time in the box too but the Canes offense is ungodly when he’s on the ice.

Terrific goal tending from Freddie Anderson and DeAngelo’s magic have been the key to taking Carolina to a new level. Carolina is 15-3-1 on the season and DeAngelo has been hands down the most important offeseason addition in the entire league. DeAngelo has 19 points on the season which ranks just behind Roman Josi and Adam Fox for all defesemen. That’s the list.

All of the advanced stats for DeAngelo have been unreal. They’re all at career highs. The New Jersey native has a Corsi% of 64.4, Fenwick% of 63.1, and 13.7 on ice shooting percentage. Long story short, the Canes have been unbelievable with DeAngelo. Carolina has scored 33 goals during just the time that DeAngelo was on the ice for in 19 games.

The guy everyone referred to as a knucklehead is the primary reason why Carolina feels like real Stanley Cup contenders. Dougie who? Don Waddell put his faith in some wildcards this offseason and it’s paying serious dividends.

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