Last week, the Capitals put forward Devante Smith-Pelly on waivers. Smith-Pelly went unclaimed and will likely play his first game for the AHL Hershey Bears this evening against the Hartford Wolfpack.
DSP’s time with the Capitals wasn’t long, signing the summer before the 2017-18 season after the New Jersey Devils bought him out. But in that short time, Smith-Pelly’s impact on his teammates, his contributions during the playoffs, and his work in the community have endeared him to DC forever.
Here are some of the best moments from Stanley Cup Champion Devante Smith-Pelly’s time with the Washington Capitals–with the hope that there are more moments to come in this year’s postseason.
Diving to the ice for the shot, Smith-Pelly scored the game-tying goal in the last game of the Stanley Cup Final. It was one of seven goals he scored in a magical postseason.
One game earlier, and with infinite confidence, DSP showed off this move after scoring a big goal.
He and John Carlson invited the Metro Maple Leafs to a game after their experience with racism.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Washington Capitals (@capitals) on
Peter wrote about Smith-Pelly’s style — a workaday fourth-liner whose offensive gifts let him transcend his role at time– at length in the review, but here’s one pull quote: “In the space of one year, Devante Smith-Pelly went from a washout to a fan-favorite champion who will be a DC legend forever.”
During a game in Chicago, Blackhawks fans shouted racist slurs at DSP while he was in the penalty box.
DSP responded thoughtfully and eloquently, explaining why it is crucial to call out racism.
Devante Smith-Pelly on the incident last night in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/Oz9qfFWMQH
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 18, 2018
Todd Reirden started DSP the next time the Capitals played in Chicago.
For his charity efforts after the events in Chicago, and his continuing worth with Fort Dupont, Smith-Pelly was nominated for the Masterson Award in 2018.
“It’s a minority hockey program,” he said of Fort Dupont. “I am a minority. For them to see someone that looks like them playing down the street, I think that would be a positive and show them that if that’s something they really want to do they can get to this level if they put their mind to it and work hard. If one kid looks up to me and it changes their life and that they end up playing in the NHL or like I said getting a scholarship, I did my job I think.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 27, 2018
DSP is one of two Capitals who said they would not attend a White House visit were they to be invited.
Interesting quote here from Devante Smith-Pelly re: visiting the White House:
“The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist. Some of the things he’s said are pretty gross … It hasn’t come up here, but I think I already have my mind made up.”
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) June 6, 2018
He also considered kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality and racism. While that did not happen, the rest of the team said they would whole-heartedly support him.
No one looks graceful on the ice after losing a skate blade, and DSP was no exception.
Eventually, Kempny gave him a tow.
When Capitals fan Tyler Duchaine announced he would get a tattoo of Brett Connolly getting a tattoo (and eating a slice of pizza), Smith-Pelly offered to pay for it.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) January 9, 2019
One teacher at Aiton Elementary school had his students write letters to DSP, who they saw as a hero who was like them.
DSP got the letters and surprised them with a visit.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 20, 2018
He also hosted a children’s winter coat drive as part of his visit.
WWE executive and 14-time champion, Triple H, congratulated Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals with a championship belt.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 12, 2018
DSP wore it during the parade and looked so good Sports Fan Island made a bobblehead about it.
DSP put a pup in the Stanley Cup. ‘Nuff said.
Smith-Pelly had better offers from other teams, but he chose to stay in DC with the Capitals. “This team is just incredibly close, so I’m incredibly comfortable there. And then the city, obviously the city has embraced me. It’s a beautiful place to live, so, like I said, the money, to me personally, is not that important if I’m not going to be happy somewhere else.”
(Warning: get some tissues for this next quote.) “It would be nice just to stick into one place for a couple years and, hopefully, if it works out longer than just this one next year.”
The Hershey Bears are really lucky to have him, and we wish him all the best. Maybe we’ll see him back up here before too long.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.