Defenseman Tony DeAngelo insisted Saturday that he is not racist after getting traded to the Philadelphia Flyers from the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.
DeAngelo made the declaration during an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia, while also explaining some of his past actions:
Questions regarding DeAngelo potentially being racist date back to his time in junior hockey when he was suspended twice for using "homophobic, racist, and sexist language" and abuse of officials, per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski.
DeAngelo admitted to using a slur toward a former teammate but noted that he took sports psychology counseling classes after the fact and said he is "still friends" with the former teammate.
Philly sent Carolina a 2022 fourth-round draft pick, 2023 third-round pick and 2024 second-round pick in exchange for DeAngelo and a 2022 seventh-round pick, and it was later reported by Sportsnet that DeAngelo signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Flyers.
Despite concerns, DeAngelo was the No. 19 overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft to the Tampa Bay Lighting, although he never played for the Bolts before getting traded to the Arizona Coyotes.
The 26-year-old DeAngelo has bounced around often during his career, going from Arizona to the New York Rangers to the Hurricanes and now the Flyers.
His inability to stick in one place has had more to do with his antics than his play, as he is one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL when focused.
DeAngelo got suspended during his one season in Arizona for shoving a referee, and his tenure with the Rangers essentially ended after he got into a locker room altercation with teammate Alexandar Georgiev.
In 2019-20, DeAngelo had a breakout season with the Rangers, racking up 15 goals and 38 assists for 53 points, as well as a plus-12 rating, all of which were career bests at the time.
DeAngelo's altercation with Georgiev limited him to six games the following season, but he signed a one-year, $1 million contract with Carolina before the 2021-22 season and delivered in a big way.
He finished with 10 goals and 41 assists for 51 points, to go along with a plus-30 rating for a Hurricanes team that reached the playoffs.
DeAngelo brings a much-needed puck-mover and power-play quarterback to the Flyers' blueline, but the question remains whether he can stay on the right track from a behavioral perspective.