Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly told Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post that he played through a knee injury last year in New Jersey, something that the team was aware of at the time. With 15 games left in the season, he opted for surgery which put him on injured reserve the rest of the way. The Devils bought out the final year of his contract back in June (something Smith-Pelly opted not to grieve) and Smith-Pelly was only able to land a two-way contract that only pays the league minimum at the NHL level. The 25-year-old says his knee has fully recovered and with Washington needing some cheap contracts to round out their roster, he should have a good chance to make the team despite posting just nine points in 53 games in 2016-17.
More from the Metropolitan:
- Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson is entering the final year of his contract and told Tom Reed of The Athletic (subscription required) that his priority is to stay with Columbus. Johnson is set to earn $5MM in salary this coming season but may be hard-pressed to match that amount on the open market unless his point production gets back into the 30-40 point range after tallying just 37 combined over the last two years.
- Still with the Blue Jackets, center Alexander Wennberg has finally received his new work visa and has rejoined the team, notes Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch. Although Wennberg didn’t change teams this offseason, his new six-year, $29.4MM deal required him to go through the formal process once again.
- Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning resumed skating last month as he recovers from back surgery from April and is hopeful to be 100% for the regular season opener, notes Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer. With Philadelphia expected to carry a couple of rookies to start the season, Manning may be in line to start as their seventh blueliner. He has been in that role at times over the past few seasons but saw action in a career-high 65 games last year.