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For Smith-Pelly, happiness, chance to repeat ranked more important than money

For Smith-Pelly, happiness, chance to repeat ranked more important than money

Devante Smith-Pelly could have earned more money elsewhere.

He could have locked up a little more security, too.

But in the end, being happy meant more to DSP than either of those things. And so on Thursday morning, he signed a one-year, $1 million contract to return to the defending Stanley Cup champion Caps.

“I had a couple of other offers on one or two-year deals, but I thought it wasn’t really worth it to leave somewhere where I’m happy and somewhere where I really wanted to be,” said Smith-Pelly, who earned $650,000 on a two-way deal last season.

The 26-year-old winger, of course, was one of the clutch performers during the Caps’ run to the Cup, scoring seven goals in 24 games, including tallies in Games 3, 4 and 5 of the Final.

“I think everyone can see how close we are,” Smith-Pelly said of the Caps’ dressing room. “We all want to come back and try it again with the same group. Obviously, it might not work that way. But I think that’s everyone’s intention, is to all come back and all be with the same group. We’re incredibly close and I feel incredibly comfortable there.”

“And the city, it’s embraced me and it’s a beautiful place to live,” he continued. “Like I said, the money, to me personally, is not that important if I’m not going to be happy somewhere.”

Although Smith-Pelly’s hard-hitting style of play and clutch goals made him a favorite among all fans, he acknowledged the fact that he’s carved out a special place in the heart of Washington’s black community.

“It’s great,” he said. “I love being a role model and being in a city where there a lot of black kids. I saw a lot of black people in general at the parade. To be a part of that and hopefully grow the game in the DMV area, me being a part of that, it feels good. They’ve embraced me. And I want to get back to the city that welcomed me in.”

Smith-Pelly bounced around the previous few years, making stops in Anaheim, Montreal and New Jersey since the start of the 2014-15 season. So re-signing in Washington also offered the Ontario native something he hasn’t enjoyed recently: stability.

“That had something to do with the decision,” he said. “It would be nice to stick in one place for a couple of years. And hopefully, it works out longer than just this one year next year. …I’m kinda tired of playing on new teams. It’s good to come back and be in the same place in consecutive years.”

Another reason Smith-Pelly was okay with the Caps’ one-year offer? He feels that he found his game in the playoffs and, if he can replicate that next season, it could set him up for a bigger deal next summer.

“I have confidence in myself that [things] can carry over from the playoffs and [I can] set myself up for something bigger and more stable later,” he said. “It’s definitely betting on yourself—that’s what I’m doing.”

With Smith-Pelly back in the fold, the Caps now have nine of their top-10 goal scorers from the playoffs under contract for next season. Tom Wilson, a restricted free agent, is the lone exception...for now, anyway. 

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Capitals at Blackhawks Game 10: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Capitals at Blackhawks Game 10: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Capitals are riding a two-game winning streak, and are looking to continue their winning ways as they start a five-game road swing.

Their first stop is Chicago against a Blackhawks team that has cracked .500 and is also riding their own two-game winning streak.

Whose streak will come to an end Sunday? Tune in to find out.

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME 10: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: Sunday, October 20, 7 pm.

TV Channel: Capitals-Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports. (NBC Sports channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blackhawks on NBC Sports live stream page.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live

6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

7:00 PM: Capitals @ Blackhawks (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals:

RW Richard Panik, upper-body injury, week-to-week

Blackhawks:

LW Jonn Quenneville, hip injury, day-to-day

CAPITALS AT BLACKHAWKS PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Michal Kempny, D, Capitals (1-0-1)

After returning to the Caps lineup against the New York Rangers Friday night, Kempny felt right at home, potting his first goal of the season. Kempny will look to beat up on the team that traded him back in 2018, and he's had success in the past against them.

Alex DeBrincat, F, Chicago (2-2-4)

Don't be fooled by DeBrincat's 5-7 frame. The shifty forward has a deadly release and notched 41 goals last season, second on the Blackhawks. In the last two seasons, he's also feasted on the Capitals, notching two goals and two assists.

Patrick Kane, R, Chicago (2-5-7)

He doesn't have the nickname "Showtime" for nothing. Kane led the Blackhawks in goals last season with 44, and leads the team in points this season.

CAPITALS at BLACKHAWKS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 99

All-Time Series Record: 44-43-11-1

Last Meeting: Loss 8-5 (1/20/2019)

Last 10: Capitals lead 7-3

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T.J. Oshie puts on a memorable performance in 300th game as a Capital

T.J. Oshie puts on a memorable performance in 300th game as a Capital

300 games. 108 goals. 108 assists.

Just so you're tracking, those are T.J. Oshie's stats through 300 games as a member of the Washington Capitals.

In an outstanding 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers, Oshie scored two power play goals. It was the second time in his career that Oshie recorded two such goals.

Another shot on goal — he had four in the game — would have put him at a nice-and-even 620 during his tenure with the Capitals, but hey, we can't all be perfect.

The statistical-evenness is certainly satisfying, but even if you're not a fan of quirky stats, the man has logged 216 points in 300 games. That's pretty darn good.

T.J. Oshie will seek to continue putting up great numbers as the Capitals embark on a two-week road trip. Their first stop will be Sunday in Chicago for a showdown against the Blackhawks.

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