On Thursday at noon, Devante Smith-Pelly cleared waivers after being placed on them Wednesday afternoon by the Washington Capitals. His future was still in flux as a deal was being finalized with the LA Kings to acquire forward Carl Hagelin.
When head coach Todd Reirden met with the media following the completion of the trade, he mentioned that Smith-Pelly would be heading to Hershey.
Reirden on DSP: "He has to get his game back to where it was at last year in playoff time, and he’s someone who’s going to have to find that down in Hershey now."
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 21, 2019
In 58 games this season, Smith-Pelly has four goals and eight points. Reirden referenced Smith-Pelly’s need to return to his playoff performance level, where he scored seven goals in 24 games, including the game-tying goal in the Final.
The Hershey Bears are currently on an historic 15-game points streak, tying a 76-year-old franchise record. With Hershey continuing to surge through the standing, joining the Bears could be the jump-start Smith-Pelly needs for his game.
The Capitals have not yet officially announced the move.
3pm update: It’s official. Here’s the release from the Capitals.
The Washington Capitals have assigned forward Devante Smith-Pelly to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Smith-Pelly, 26, has recorded eight points (4g, 4a) in 54 games with the Capitals this season. Since joining Washington in 2017-18, Smith-Pelly has 24 points (11g, 13a) in 129 games.
Smith-Pelly collected 16 points (7g, 9a) in a career-high 75 games with the Capitals last season. During the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run, the 6′, 223-pound forward was tied for fourth on the Capitals in goals (7) and scored in three-straight games in the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas. Additionally, Smith-Pelly scored the series-clinching goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Columbus. In 48 career playoff games, Smith-Pelly has 13 goals, and his 0.27 goals per game rating is tied for the 47th-highest in the NHL among active players with at least 45 career playoff games.
Smith-Pelly has recorded 101 points (44g, 57a) in 395 career NHL games with Anaheim, Montreal, New Jersey and Washington.
Smith-Pelly was drafted by Anaheim in the second round, 42nd overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.
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