Capitals To Welcome Back Devante Smith-Pelly, Wear Special Jerseys For Black History Night
Devante Smith-Pelly will participate in a ceremonial puck drop as the Washington Capitals celebrate Black History Month.
ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals have announced a number of initiatives and will be welcoming back a Stanley Cup hero as part of the team's celebration of Black History Month, as Devante Smith-Pelly will make his return to the District.
Smith-Pelly will be honored at Capital One Arena on Feb. 25 against the New York Rangers. He will participate in a ceremonial puck drop before the game as part of the team's Black History Night.
The 30-year-old announced his retirement from professional hockey on Dec. 30. The 30-year-old played in 395 NHL games, racking up 101 points, and he also spent time playing in the AHL and KHL. Over two seasons with Washington, Smith-Pelly had 11 goals and 13 assists and was an integral part of the fourth line. It was in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, though, that "DSP" cemented his legacy in D.C. He appeared in all 24 playoff games for the Capitals in 2018 and scored seven goals in the postseason, with three of those coming in the Stanley Cup Final. He scored the game-winning goal in Game 4 and the game-tying goal in Game 5 that ultimately helped Washington complete the comeback and clinch the title against the Vegas Golden Knights.
In addition to the puck drop on Feb. 25, the Capitals will wear special warmup jerseys on Black History Night. Those sweaters will be signed and auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the Capitals Capital Impact Fund, which "provides financial support to local nonprofit organizations dedicated to further advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in hockey." Last season's Black History warmup jerseys raised $52,960 and featured the Fort Dupont Cannons logo.
Washington announced several more initiatives throughout the month. The team will collaborate with music artist Saukrates on an original song that will honor its 11 Black alumni. The Capitals will additionally hold a youth hockey clinic on Feb. 11 with members of the Fort Dupont Cannons, Tucker Road Ducks, Baltimore Banners and Future Caps graduates. Washington and the MSE Foundation will also fund a Black Girl Hockey Club scholarship for local player Arianna Willet.