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With Tony DeAngelo Buyout, Another Messy Divorce For Flyers

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Tony DeAngelo (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Tony DeAngelo (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Within several weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers dumped two players and paid a hefty price to do so.

It was calculated addition by subtraction.

On June 28, the Philadelphia Flyers traded Kevin Hayes to St. Louis. On Friday, Tony DeAngelo was waived unconditionally after one season. The Flyers will buy out DeAngelo’s contract today if he clears waivers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The Flyers already are swallowing $3.57 million for each of the next three years of Hayes’ contract. That’s $10.71 million. According to CapFriendly, it’s going to cost $3.3 million to buy out DeAngelo.

That’s $14.01 million of alimony to settle these annulments. That is the price tag the Flyers obviously decided was acceptable in order to move forward in their rebuild.

The Flyers thought they had a DeAngelo trade with Carolina, his former team, a few weeks ago. After the trade fell through due to a collective bargaining agreement clause, general manager Daniel Briere decided to waive DeAngelo. The Flyers reportedly were willing to retain 50 percent of DeAngelo’s $5 million contract for next season if the trade had gone through.

In the DeAngelo waiver deal, he will count for $1.66 million against the Flyers’ cap this season and next, according to CapFriendly. The Flyers get to retain a salary retention slot for this season.

Sports Realities

Trading Carter Hart or Travis Konecny or Scott Laughton for draft picks or other assets is a cold-blooded fact of life in pro sports. If you have players other teams want, you can attempt to trade them for what you want — draft picks or other players. 

On the current roster, Hart, Konecny or Laughton bring you the most potential bounty. They’re trade candidates for roster and rebuilding considerations. The Flyers could land valuable first-round picks in return.

That’s a professional sports strategy as old as time.

Trading Hayes and dumping DeAngelo are different. It’s a cleansing, a way forward the Flyers obviously thought was necessary. They were trade candidates simply because the Flyers didn’t want them around anymore.

That’s a professional sports strategy as old as time, too.

Making Moves

The DeAngelo and Hayes deals were inevitable given how last season played out. The former general manager, Chuck Fletcher, was fired and a rebuild was announced.

DeAngelo, 27, was healthy scratched for the final five games by coach John Tortorella. DeAngelo wasn’t happy about it. He stood up and said so at the team’s breakup day.

“He’s the coach of the team, so you’ve gotta respect that, and I respect what he does,” DeAngelo said.

“Do I agree with it? What happened in the last five games? Absolutely not. I think it’s ridiculous that I didn’t play the last five. That’s one thing.

“But he’s also the coach of the team. It’s not my job to decide that.”

The Flyers reportedly were going to get a prospect from Carolina in return for DeAngelo. They received neither a prospect nor a draft pick by waiving him.

In the original DeAngelo trade a year ago, the Flyers sent Carolina a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft, a third-round pick in 2023 and a second-round pick in 2024.

Hayes, 31, was rumored to be on the way out during the season. 

“I just feel like we kind of started to go our separate ways throughout the middle of the season,” Hayes said after the trade. “They were going in a different direction halfway through the year.”

The Flyers received a sixth-round pick for Hayes. Doesn’t sound like much for a guy who scored 155 goals in 634 games.

Equal value often isn’t achieved in messy hockey divorces. Decisions are made. Checks are signed. Everybody gets to wear a new uniform.

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