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June 26, 2023

Flyers rumors: The NHL is holding up the Tony DeAngelo trade

The Flyers are trying to deal DeAngelo back to Carolina less than a year after acquiring him, and the NHL has taken issue with that, per The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.

The Flyers looked on the brink of making two major trades this weekend, but now both deals seem to be in a state of limbo. 

The reported deal with the Blues, which would've sent Kevin Hayes (with a large chunk of salary retained) and Travis Sanheim to St. Louis in exchange for a late first-rounder and defenseman Torey Krug, got put on hold because Krug hasn't waived the no-trade clause in his contract.

As for the other reported trade with the Hurricanes, which would've sent Tony DeAngelo back to Carolina within a year (and with half of his $5 million cap hit retained) for a prospect, apparently, the NHL had an issue with that one and the crux of it was because he would be going back to the Canes so soon. 

Per The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun on the state of the DeAngelo deal Monday morning:

There’s language in the CBA about a player returning within 12 months, especially on a retained salary, as being possible circumvention.

I believe both the Flyers and Hurricanes have argued with the league about this, saying: 1) His contract wasn’t even signed with Carolina; it was Philadelphia that signed him last summer to a two-year, $10 million deal. And 2) Chuck Fletcher was the GM who traded for DeAngelo and signed him, and he’s no longer there — so how could any of this be a circumvention?

My understanding is that the league will talk to the teams this week in Nashville about it. Either the league will sign off on it or it will want the teams to wait until July 9 to complete the trade, following the 12 months rule. If that’s the case, who knows if the current proposed trade still works for both teams. So stay tuned on that one. [The Athletic, $]

OK, so let's go back to last summer's draft in Montreal and recap what happened here. 

Knowing that Ryan Ellis probably wasn't going to be healthy enough to play, former GM Chuck Fletcher was after an insurance policy for the blueline and identified one in DeAngelo, who was a restricted free agent in Carolina after his one-year deal had expired. 

Fletcher traded three draft picks to the Hurricanes for the rights to DeAngelo's negotiating window, then signed him to a new two-year, $10 million contract after the transaction had gone through and DeAngelo was considered a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. 

The draft, however, was later in the summer than usual, so that all went down on July 8, 2022

Obviously, a lot has happened since then. The Flyers fell apart again and realized it was time for a rebuild, Fletcher was fired, DeAngelo wasn't a good fit for John Tortorella's lineup and was scratched for the final five games, and now Danny Brière is in charge as the new GM and is in the driver's seat for all trades on Philadelphia's end. 

It's just that this one happens to involve a player acquired 11 months and change ago rather than a full 12, which seems pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things, but maybe not so much for the league. 

We'll see what happens once both teams meet with the league this week as the draft approaches. 

But in the worst-case scenario that they do have to wait until July 9 to get a deal done, the Flyers are going to have to hope that the agreement can hold up for a week and a half and that the Hurricanes won't go looking for a defenseman elsewhere.

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