Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith Pelly was one of the breakout stars the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The heart and soul winger scored some big goals for the Caps on their way to winning their first Stanley Cup championship in team history, but perhaps none as big as his Game 5 equalizing goal.
What a clutch goal by a clutch player. When a player like Smith Pelly hits the score sheet, you can’t help but feel good for the guy. He’s a player with a limited skill set, but a ton of heart and character and it’s clear just how important of a role who plays in the eyes of his teammates. Maybe that’s what makes yesterday’s news so shocking.
According to a report from Capitals insider Isabelle Khurshudyan, the Capitals are NOT expected to re-sign Smith Pelly and are, in effect, letting him walk away from the team via free agency.
Per ikhurshudyan, Capitals right winger Devante Smith Pelly is not expected to receive a qualifying offer from the team. Smith Pelly tallied seven goals and eight points during the Caps 2018 StanleyCup run.
Wow… who saw this coming!?
The 26 year old Smith-Pelly’s one year, league minimum $650,000 contract expires on July 1st, at which point he’ll be free to sign a new contract with any NHL team. In 75 regular season games, Smith-Pelly put up seven goals and 16 points last season, but he took his game to another level in the Stanley Cup Playoffs where he managed seven goals and eight points in 24 games.
The big winger was bought out of his two year, $2.6 million contract by the New Jersey Devils last offseason and was considered nothing more than a low risk, low salaried option when he signed with the Capitals last offseason. He obviously acquitted himself quite well in Washington, but evidently the team has elected to go in another direction. It’s a surprising development, but after Smith-Pelly’s electric play during the playoffs, we’re confident that he’ll land on his feet with another NHL club this offseason.
Update: The Capitals PR team has issued a statement concerning Smith Pelly, indicating that they are still negotiating with the gritty winger.
Caps extend qualifying offers to Tom Wilson, Madison Bowey, Travis Boyd, Liam O’Brien, and Riley Barber. Caps do not extend qualifying offer to Devante Smith-Pelly, but are still negotiating with him.
Looks like Smith Pelly's time with the Caps may not be over after all.
Source: Isabelle Khurshudyan
Photo Credit: Zuma Press