'Words backed by no actions are empty': Canes fan reacts to DeAngelo signing

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Day two of free agency was a lot quieter than Day one for the Carolina Hurricanes.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes announced that the team agreed to terms with defenseman Brendan Smith on a one-year, $800,000 contract.

It was another defenseman who they signed on Wednesday, Tony DeAngelo, that has some fans saying they're heading for the exits.

"They did a lot of good things yesterday, and then they did one thing that just ... there's 32 teams in the league," said Canes fan Jamie Thomas. "The other teams passed because it couldn't get past the owner. What does it say of our owner that he's like if I can win and you have character flaws then I'm OK with that. I don't like that, and I can't support that with my money."

DeAngelo's track record is one that some Caniacs don't think meshes well with the current culture of the Hurricanes. DeAngelo was suspended twice in the OHL and once in the NHL. Just six months ago, the New York Rangers let him go after an altercation with a teammate.

"You have to stand for something in life, and if you just stand for winning at all costs, that's great -- congratulations," Thomas said.

Thomas said he has been a Canes fan since 2003.

He watched when they won the Stanley Cup in 2006 and stuck with them during the bad years and through the past two seasons, where they made it to the playoffs. But now, he's not so sure.

"They sold you family, they sold you, we're a fun, loving Bunch of Jerks. If we win a game at home we're going to celebrate and if the rest of the league hates it and calls us jerks, that's fine -- we don't care -- we're going to have fun," Thomas said. "It felt like a family atmosphere where you could go and be happy and this kind of just flies in the face of that."

DeAngelo spoke to the media Wednesday night saying he has learned from his mistakes and he's changed, but Thomas doesn't quite buy it.

"An organization that puts out hey, it's pride night, hockey is for everyone. We are inclusive. Words backed by no actions are empty, and then you go out and you sign a person, everybody should be given a second chance in life, I feel, but just doing my background, it feels like it's not a second, not a third. I don't even know if it's a fifth chance with this guy right now," Thomas said. "Is that really something you want to bring into this environment, this community? I had to explain to my kids why this was happening and why we probably weren't going to go to Carolina Hurricanes games."
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