Tony DeAngelo enters free agency after Flyers buy out deal

The Philadelphia Flyers will buy out the last season of defenseman Tony DeAngelo's contract, making him an unrestricted free agent and ending his turbulent tenure with the team.

General manager Daniel Briere announced Friday that DeAngelo had been placed on unconditional waivers.

DeAngelo was due to make $5 million in the final season of a two-year deal signed with former GM Chuck Fletcher in July 2022. Per CapFriendly, the Flyers will carry $1.667 million in dead salary cap space for the next two seasons following the buyout.

DeAngelo had 11 goals and 31 assists in 70 games with the Flyers in 2022-23. He was scratched on multiple occasions by coach John Tortorella late in the season.

"My whole life, I've wanted to be a Flyer," DeAngelo said after the season. "Now that I am, I don't take it for granted at all. It's something that means a lot to me so I'm not going to let any relationship stuff get in the way. He's the coach of the team. I respect what he does. Do I agree with it, what happened in the last five games? Absolutely not. I think it's ridiculous that I didn't play in the last five. But he's the coach of the team. It's not my job to decide that."

The buyout comes after the Flyers appeared to have a deal in place with the Carolina Hurricanes for DeAngelo earlier this summer.

The Flyers acquired the restricted free agent rights to DeAngelo from the Hurricanes on July 7, 2022, for three draft picks. In June, Briere had a deal in place to send DeAngelo, 27, back to the Hurricanes for a prospect, with Philadelphia retaining 50% of his salary.

But Rule 50.5 of the NHL CBA protects against a team trading a player, having another team pick up a percentage of their salary, and then quickly reacquiring that player at a reduced cap cost. If the Flyers weren't retaining any salary, the transaction would have been allowed. Since the salary retention was a key to the deal, it was held up by the NHL.

The Hurricanes could now sign DeAngelo as a free agent if they choose.