The Philadelphia Flyers feel Tony DeAngelo’s character issues are behind him.
They acquired the puck-moving, right-handed defenseman, a native of Sewell in South Jersey, for three draft picks Friday.
DeAngelo, 26, had 51 points (10 goals, 41 assists) in 64 games last season with Carolina. He was plus-30 on a powerful Hurricanes team.
In the deal, the Hurricanes received a second-round pick in 2024, a third-rounder in 2023 (the lowest of three picks), and a fourth-rounder this year. Besides DeAngelo, the Flyers received a seventh-round pick, and they selected speedy right winger Alexis Gendron with it.
The Flyers reportedly signed the controversial DeAngelo to a two-year deal that carries an annual $5 million cap hit. He could have become a restricted free agent Wednesday.
‘Dream come true’
“It’s a dream come true for me,” DeAngelo, who played youth hockey in the Philadelphia area, told Flyers public-relations staffers. “I was born in Jersey, but really my entire family besides myself comes from Philly. That’s where we lived. Been a Flyers fan since the day I can remember.”
Philly is trading away draft picks at a high rate. Last year, the Flyers dealt defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to Arizona and had to give the Coyotes second- and seventh-round draft picks to take his $4.5 million cap hit. Gostisbehere had 14 goals and 51 points (the same total as DeAngelo) for Arizona last season.
DeAngelo was chosen by Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2014 draft at the Wells Fargo Center. He was taken 19th overall — two picks after the Flyers took defenseman Travis Sanheim.
Sanheim was together with Rasmus Ristolainen on the second pairing last season.
DeAngelo, a 5-foot-11, 180-pounder, has a controversial past.
Last summer, the New York Rangers bought him out of his contract. They had booted him off the team after six games in 2020-21 because of disruptive behavior, including an altercation with teammate Alexander Georgiev after a game.
He was twice suspended in his junior career for violating the league’s policy on homophobic, racist, and sexist language.
In 2017, he was suspended from Arizona for physical abuse of officials.
When he signed a one-year, free-agent deal with Carolina before last season, the Hurricanes received lots of criticism from fans. He responded with a strong season.
General manager Chuck Fletcher told reporters in Montreal that DeAngelo has “made some mistakes,and he’s apologized for them; he’s suffered consequences for them. Some of the mistakes earlier in his career, he hasn’t had any repeat offenses, so to speak.”
Fletcher said DeAngelo has “matured from everything we can gather. He’s working hard to be a better person, both on and off the ice.”
Flyers center Kevin Hayes was DeAngelo’s teammate with the New York Rangers.
“Tony is one of the most loyal teammates I’ve ever played with,” Hayes said. “He will have every guy in that locker room’s back.”
Hayes called DeAngelo a “passionate person who plays with an edge while being one of the most skilled D-men in the league. The fans are going to absolutely love him. Ever since I met him, we always joked about him playing in Philly. Everyone should be excited for opening night.”
Fletcher said the Flyers “did our due diligence, and we strongly believe in Tony and his ability to help our team.”
DeAngelo should bolster the Flyers’ sad-sack power play, and if Ryan Ellis isn’t ready to start the season because of a pelvic injury, he could move to the top pairing for a bit.
As a youngster, DeAngelo was a member of the 2007-08 Flyers Quebec international pee-wee team.
Carolina took 6-2, 194-pound defenseman Simon Forsmark with the fourth-round pick it got Friday from the Flyers. He went at No. 101 overall. McKeen’s Hockey rated him 68th.