We are only just a few short seasons removed from an amazing playoff performance from veteran National Hockey League forward Devante Smith Pelly, but looking at the way things have played out for him in the offseason it might as well have been a lifetime ago.
The Stanley Cup Champion struggled to find that form he had demonstrated on the way to a Stanley Cup Championship for the Washington Capitals and it was obvious last season that even the Capitals had started to lose faith in him. Smith Pelly was sent down to the American Hockey League where he would play with the Hershey Bears for 20 games last season, and coming off his stint in the AHL it seemed like there were no NHL teams willing to offer him a one way deal as an unrestricted free agent.
That left Smith Pelly with only a few options, accept a two-way deal that would allow the team he signed with to demote him to the AHL at will without waivers, try his luck in lesser leagues outside of the NHL, or sing a professional tryout offer with an NHL team in the hopes of earning a new deal. Now I can not be sure how many of those options were on the table for Smith Pelly, but we do know for certain that the veteran forward opted for the professional tryout offer.
Unfortunately for Smith Pelly the PTO that he signed with the Calgary Flames likely had an impact directly opposite to the one Smith Pelly was hoping it would have. To be blunt Smith Pelly looked quite bad at times during training camp with the Flames and as a result it came as very little shock today when the Calgary Sun's Kristen Anderson reported that Smith Pelly had been cut by the Flames. It marks another chapter in the downward trajectory Smith Pelly's career has taken since winning his Stanley CUp Championship, and it may in fact turn out to be the final chapter of his NHL career at this point.
Smith Pelly might still get a shot with another team, but teams that watched him in training camp are not likely to have much interest.