On Saturday night, the New York Rangers lost in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The next day, the Rangers placed defenceman Tony DeAngelo on waivers.
What happened in between was a topic of much speculation. In the latest episode of the 31 Thoughts podcast, recorded Sunday evening and released early Monday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman outlined the events that preceded DeAngelo's being placed on waivers.
Here's Friedman's breakdown of what happened, and his thoughts on what could be next:
On what happened Saturday night, leading up to the waiver placement:
"Saturday night, Rangers-Penguins. Ten seconds before the winning goal is scored, Georgiev and DeAngelo have a mixup, a miscommunication behind the net. Sidney Crosby gets in between them, and the Rangers players who are already on the ice for a while and noticeably exhausted can't get off. Crosby scores, and the Penguins win in overtime."
"They go off the ice, Georgiev is sitting, disappointed -- like any competitive person, especially a goaltender, would be after a game like that -- and DeAngelo walks by him and makes a sarcastic crack to him, and Georgiev clocks him. They go at it, and their teammates break it up. Later that night, the Rangers call DeAngelo [or his agent] and they say, 'That's the last straw. You're going on waivers tomorrow.' And then at noon ET [on Sunday], that's what happens."
(DeAngelo officially cleared waivers at 12 p.m. ET on Monday.)
On the speculation around DeAngelo and the Rangers, and the need for caution in what's being reported:
"I know there are so many rumours. I know that DeAngelo's history probably makes a lot of those rumours seem believable. But I was really cautioned to be careful about what I said because there are a number of things that are out there that are not true or are half-truths, and people just said 'be careful.' Because it's one of those things that's going to unfold in real time, and you have to be careful."
On what might be next for DeAngelo and the Rangers:
"I don't want to say anything is absolute, because things can always change, but I don't think that anybody expects that Tony DeAngelo will play for the Rangers again."
On whether a contract termination is likely (or possible) in this situation:
"If Tony DeAngelo doesn't want his contract terminated, the question is: 'Will the Rangers be able to do it?' And most people I spoke to on Sunday, they don't think that the Rangers will be able to unilaterally do it."
(As Friedman noted, a player must be placed on regular waivers before he can be placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a contract termination.)
On the Rangers' options, should DeAngelo go unclaimed off waivers Monday:
"If he doesn't get claimed, they'll try to trade him. If they can't trade him, here come the questions: Do you want him with your prospects in the American Hockey League? Do you want him around your team on the taxi squad? I think it's most likely he's sent home and he waits it out."
On whether teams will take a chance on DeAngelo, given reported character issues:
"The thing about this is that you really have to do a deep dive to make sure that you want to do this, and does 24 hours give you enough time to do it?"
"...I think the other thing, too, is any team that does it -- there's gonna be heat. And are teams going to take that heat?"