Former Washington Capital and Stanley Cup winner Devante Smith-Pelly will be returning to the Capitals organization– this time in an off-ice role. Smith-Pelly will be joining play-by-play announcer John Walton on Caps Radio 24/7 as a color commentator. His debut will be during Monday’s game against the San Jose Sharks as the team begins a five-game road trip out west. DSP will also conduct interviews for Washington and assist with game-day coverage on Monumental Sports Network when the Capitals play the Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Ducks, the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Arizona Coyotes.
Devante Smith-Pelly retired in 2022 at 30 years old. Shortly after his retirement, he stated that he still loves hockey, but that it’s “just time to love it from a different angle.” He seems very grateful for this opportunity and says, “I’m extremely excited, I knew right away that I wanted to try it out, and I’m grateful for the chance.” DSP is a notoriously loveable figure from Washington’s past, so both staff and fans are excited to have him back in a new way. His new colleague, John Walton, seems particularly hopeful about DSP’s broadcasting debut. “The fans all love what he did on the ice and now he’s got an opportunity, in beginning his broadcast career, to be able to do something off the ice. He’s such a recognizable figure in this community. I think it’s a great fit,” Walton said. It will be interesting to hear Devante Smith-Pelly’s perspective of the team as someone who made a run for the Stanley Cup with them. It is no secret that today’s Washington Capitals team is vastly different than the one that Smith-Pelly played for. In fact, only five figures that he played with remain on the team: forwards Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie, center Evgeny Kuznetsov and defenseman John Carlson. Nicklas Backstrom was also on the team, but he recently announced that he will not be returning to play for the time being due to injuries.
Devante Smith-Pelly is looking forward to seeing old teammates and others whom he played against in his career. He joked around, saying, “The first time talking to somebody, interviewing them, will be a little funny, I wouldn’t say awkward, but hilarious,” Smith-Pelly said. “I think as the trip goes on, it’ll become more of the norm.” Smith-Pelly was a major contributing factor to Washington’s 2018 Stanley Cup Championship. The bottom-six forward scored seven goals in 24 playoff games, including one each in Games 3, 4, and 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. These seven goals matched his total in 75 regular-season games, truly proving how clutch his performance in the final was. His last goal was by far the most important–he scored on Vegas Golden Knights’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the third period of Game 5 to tie it 3-3 and set the stage for Lars Eller to score the Stanely Cup-winning goal.
This is not Devante Smith-Pelly’s first time getting involved in hockey off the ice. Shortly after his retirement, TSN contacted him, which led to him working with them during the 2023 IIHF World Championship. He said of the experience, “I really, really enjoyed it. That’s when I realized I want to do a lot more of this.”
It is so exciting to see Devante Smith-Pelly get to be involved with the team that was so impactful for him, and vice versa. Washington fans are wishing him the best of luck in this new adventure and are looking forward to seeing how it plays out for their Stanley Cup Champion.