- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2019

No NHL team claimed Devante Smith-Pelly off waivers by noon Wednesday, and the fan-favorite forward will be assigned to the Washington Capitals‘ top minor league affiliate, according to coach Todd Reirden.

Smith-Pelly has not played in the AHL since the 2013-14 season, but he will be sent to the AHL Hershey Bears for the time being.

Smith-Pelly, the Stanley Cup hero who scored three goals against Vegas in the finals, was surprisingly waived Wednesday after the Capitals initially wanted to place Dmitrij Jaskin on waivers. The Capitals announced a trade for Los Angeles Kings forward Carl Hagelin on Thursday, meaning Hagelin takes over the vacant roster spot.

After the trade deadline, there is no 23-man roster limit for NHL squads, provided they keep themselves under the salary cap. But don’t expect Smith-Pelly to return that soon: The Capitals were left with only $25,000 in cap space after the Hagelin trade, and Smith-Pelly makes $1 million. He is also able to return in the playoffs, when the salary cap no longer applies.

The Capitals visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

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