After some confusing tweets from Capital’s sources, it was confirmed that the team has placed Devante Smith-Pelly (DSP) on waivers. Once a player is placed on waivers other teams in the NHL are free to talk to and offer a player a contract. In some cases the player may end up in the American Hockey League (AHL).
DSP was one of the star players during the Capitals successful run to the Stanley Cup, scoring seven goals. This season has not gone as well for him with only four goals and four assists in 54 games. His play seems a bit uneven this year and coach has benched him to signal his disappointment.
DSP came to the Capitals after the Devils placed him on waivers in June 2016. There were questions about his consistency and maybe some concerns about a knee injury that kept giving him problems. It wasn’t even clear if he would play for the Hershey Bears or the Caps as the Caps signed him to a two-way, one-year contract. After training camp the Caps decided they liked his style of play and opted to give him a chance to succeed.
He was playoff magic, just when the Caps needed him. During the 2 June game against the Vegas Golden Knights, after catching two penalties (interference and tripping) in the first and second periods, he scored the third goal for the Caps off a pass from Jay Beagle. He then went on in Game Four to show his scoring prowess, again with the third goal of the game. And finally in Game Five he tied up the game with a sweet little move off the pass from Brooks Orpik. All this contributed to the Caps bringing home the Stanley Cup.
The Caps felt he earned an extension to that first chance and signed him on for another year. DSP said it was what he too wanted.
Devante is a man of great courage and honor. He has brought a level of education to the community about race relations and generosity. He will he missed and we all wish him smooth ice ahead.
As the trade deadline approaches we think this is one way for the team to free some space for a couple of acquisitions.
What Todd Reirden has to say: