Photo: The Toronto Star
Qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents were due at 5 PM on Monday evening. The Capitals qualified many of the ones that you would expect, except for Devante Smith-Pelly, a restricted free agent. Smith-Pelly will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
#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.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) June 25, 2018
Minor-league RFAs in the #Capitals organization (per @CapFriendly) who did NOT receive qualifying offers: G Adam Carlson, RW Adam Chapie, C Tim McGauley. They become UFAs too. Rough day for the Adams.
— Adam Zielonka (@Adam_Zielonka) June 25, 2018
The Capitals sent qualifying offers to forward Tom Wilson, forward Liam O’Brien, center Travis Boyd, forward Riley Barber, and defenseman Madison Bowey. Goaltender Adam Carlson, forward Adam Chapie, and forward Tim McGauley also did not receive qualifying offers from the Capitals. Wilson, Boyd, O’Brien, and Barber are eligible for salary arbitration. They must be offered at least 115% of how much their previous contract paid them. If any file for arbitration, the Capitals and that player will have until the day their hearing is set to reach an agreement.
Smith-Pelly, 26, was bought out by the New Jersey Devils last summer after posting four goals and nine points in 53 games. He was also a -19. The Capitals signed him to a one-year, two-way contract on July 3 worth $650,000.
Smith-Pelly made the team out of training camp and posted seven goals and 16 points in 75 regular season games in 2017-18. He was four points shy of his career high in points, which was set in 2014-15 with the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens. Smith-Pelly mostly played on the fourth line with Jay Beagle and Chandler Stephenson but got some time on the top line with Alex Ovechkin at points during the regular season and postseason.
Despite his lack of production in the regular season, Smith-Pelly was one of the unsung playoff heroes for the Capitals, posting seven goals and eight points in 24 games. His seven postseason goals were as many as he tallied in 75 regular season appearances and tied Lars Eller for the fourth most on the team. He scored many important ones too, including the series clincher in Game 6 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a huge goal in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning to extend a 1-0 lead in the third period, and the game-tying goal in the Capitals’ Stanley Cup-clinching victory in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights. He scored three goals in the final against the Golden Knights.
Since entering the league in 2012-13, Smith-Pelly has bounced around the league, getting traded twice in addition to being bought out.
The Capitals could still sign Smith-Pelly. They faced a similar situation with Brett Connolly last year after he scored 15 goals in the regular season. Connolly did not receive a qualifying offer from the Capitals last season but he signed a two-year contract worth $3 million afterward.
In 341 career NHL games, Smith-Pelly has 40 goals, 93 points, and a -35 rating.
By Harrison Brown