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Former Washington Capitals right-wing and 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Devante Smith-Pelly announced his retirement from professional hockey on Friday. The announcement was made on his personal Instagram page.
“I have decided to end this chapter of my life and retire. I’m grateful for the opportunity to live out my dream of playing in the NHL. Throughout my career I’ve experienced the lowest of lows to the highest of highs,” Smith-Pelly wrote.
“I was able to travel to places I never thought I’d see and played along side and against some of the best players in the world of hockey. I am so proud to say a kid from Scarborough Ontario leaves a Stanley Cup champion. I will be forever grateful for my experiences.”
After the New Jersey Devils bought out the final year of Smith-Pelly’s contract in June 2017, the Capitals signed him to a one-year contract at a league-minimum $650,000.
Smith-Pelly recorded seven goals, 16 points, and a -6 rating in 75 games last season but followed it up with a seven-goal, eight-point outburst in 24 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, including the series-clinching goal in Game 6 of the first-round against the Columbus Blue Jackets and goals in each of the last three games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights.
After signing a one-year contract worth $1 million, Smith-Pelly posted four goals, eight points, and a -6 rating while mostly playing on the fourth-line in 54 games with the Capitals in 2018-19 before getting placed on waivers. After two months with the AHL’s Hershey Bears and right-wing T.J. Oshie broke his collarbone in Game 4 of the 2018 first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series vs. the Carolina Hurricanes, Smith-Pelly returned to Washington for the final three postseason games but did not make the same impact he did in 2018.
Washington let him walk as an unrestricted free agent after 2018-19 and Smith-Pelly played the following campaign with the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star, earning eight goals and 11 points in 36 games.
After COVID-19 hit, Smith-Pelly played 38 games over two seasons in the AHL.
The 30-year-old finished his NHL career with 44 goals and 101 points in 395 regular-season games and 13 goals and 16 points in 51 postseason outings.
By Harrison Brown