#1 ith agent Eustace K von douhua2233 10.08.2018 11:21

The Washington Capitals are bringing back two of the more important players from their Stanley Cup run by getting new contracts done with winger Devante Smith-Pelly and defenseman Michal Kempny.

Smith-Pelly had offers from other teams and took less money to sign a $1 million http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-su_a-cravens-jersey , one-year deal Thursday. A person with knowledge of the move later in the day said the Capitals agreed to terms on a multiyear contract with Kempny. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

”We all want to come back and play and try it again with the same group,” Smith-Pelly said. ”Obviously it might not work that way, but I think that’s what’s everyone intention to all come back and all be the same group.”

Smith-Pelly and Kempny were key acquisitions for the Capitals who played dividends in the playoffs. Smith-Pelly scored seven goals in the postseason, while Kempny filled the need for a top-four defenseman.

Each player said after the season he’d like to return. For Kempny, it’s the chance to keep an ”amazing” time going after fitting in perfectly alongside John Carlson and found his game under associate coach Todd Reirden.

”I’m very happy here,” Kempny said recently. ”We had plan with Todd, with defenseman coach, and the plan work out very well.”

The Capitals acquired Kempny from Chicago at the trade deadline for a third-round pick. He did not seem to be a favorite of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, was largely a third-pairing defenseman in Chicago and doubted his own ability to play difficult minutes against top NHL players.

”Todd, defenseman coach, he get my belief in myself back and I really appreciate (him) for it because when I came here I didn’t believe in myself,” Kempny said. ”I didn’t have confidence enough. Now Dalton Schultz Color Rush Jersey , I’m back and my confidence is getting better and better.”

The 27 year-old Czech had two goals and three assists while playing 17:42 a game in the playoffs. Even better news for him is Reirden is the strong front-runner to replace departed coach Barry Trotz.

Smith-Pelly likewise got his career back on track in Washington after he was bought out by New Jersey last summer. When signing Smith-Pelly to a two-way, league-minimum $650,000 contract, general manager Brian MacLellan called him a ”project” and made no assurances he’d crack the opening night roster.

The Toronto native put up seven goals and nine assists in 75 regular-season games and then had two game-winners during his scoring tear in the playoffs. Being comfortable in Washington and embraced by teammates and fans led Smith-Pelly to take the Capitals’ offer rather than a one- or two-year deal elsewhere with a higher salary.

”It wasn’t worth it to leave somewhere where I’m happy and somewhere where I really want to be,” the 26-year-old third-liner said. ”The money to me personally is not that important if I’m not going to be happy somewhere else.”

Smith-Pelly has 40 goals and 53 assists for 93 points in 341 regular-season games with the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, Devils and Capitals. Smith-Pelly was ready to stop the career carousel.

”It’d be nice to just stick in for one place for a couple years, and hopefully if it works out, longer than just this one next year,” Smith-Pelly said. ”It definitely played a role in the decision. I’m kind of tired of playing on new teams and all that stuff. It’s good to come back and be in the same place consecutive years.”

A 2010 second-round pick who had yet to find a foothold anywhere, Smith-Pelly was more than happy to take a chance on putting up bigger numbers going into unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.

”I have confidence in myself that I can carry over from the playoffs and do something and then set myself up for something bigger and more stable later,” Smith-Pelly said. ”It’s definitely betting yourself. That’s what I’m doing http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-logan-cooke-jersey , and I’m confident in myself.”

The Capitals wanted him back even after not giving him a qualifying offer Monday as a restricted free agent. Doing so at a cost of $715,000 would have opened them up to an arbitration case and, at the very least, kept Smith-Pelly’s salary-cap hit an unknown until the hearing in July or August.


It didn’t get to that point. The team continued to negotiate with agent Eustace King, and Smith-Pelly was more than happy to take a chance on putting up bigger numbers going into unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.

”I have confidence in myself that I can carry over from the playoffs and do something and then set myself up for something bigger and more stable later,” Smith-Pelly said. ”It’s definitely betting yourself. That’s what I’m doing, and I’m confident in myself.”




HOUSTON — Any lauding of the Houston Rockets‘ resilience in Game 4 on Tuesday at Oracle Arena begins with an acknowledgment of their defense, with cliched adjectives serving the general purpose of explaining how they overcame a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit to claim victory and square the Western Conference Finals before the series relocated back to Toyota Center.

But for a series rife with adjustments, the truth of how Houston salvaged its championship aspirations lies within the minutiae. Methodically and stubbornly, the Rockets have invited the Warriors to play their brand of isolation basketball, influencing Golden State for long enough stretches to temporarily secure advantages with a style of play that blatantly benefits Houston.

The fourth quarter of Game 4 offered a prime example. The Warriors claimed their largest lead of the contest at 82-70 when Stephen Curry assisted on a Shaun Livingston dunk at the 10:45 mark. That play produced the 14th and final assist of the evening for Golden State.

“We scored 12 points http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-bradley-chubb-jersey ,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the fourth period. “So it’s not like we were getting great shots either.

“It was sort of trench warfare. It was just everybody grinding it out, a lot of isolation. I guess this is the modern NBA. But the only way you can do this and win is you have to have great one-on-one players. You’ve got to have great defenders, two-way guys, and we do and they do. And so, it just becomes a one-on-one battle with all the switching, and they did a great job of it.”

The Warriors paced the NBA in assist percentage (68.5) during the regular season. The Rockets, conversely, ranked 22nd at 55.7 percent, relying on the isolation brilliance of James Harden and Chris Paul. And while Golden State features two exceptional one-on-one talents in Kevin Durant and Curry, isolation basketball doesn’t reflect the Warriors’ offensive identity.

The Warriors’ 14 assists in Game 4 represented a series low. Their 48.2 assist rate in the series is worse than the Rockets’ assist percentage (49.3), a remarkable and surprising development. The final period on Tuesday revealed Golden State at its most unrecognizable and disjointed.

“I think we just got a little rushed,” Curry said. “I think some of the mix-ups we had on defense affected our energy on the offensive end. And credit to them: We know they’re doing a lot of switching and trying to force us into one-on-one-type situations Cheap Baker Mayfield Jersey , but that’s no excuse to not get the ball moving, trusting what we do best. And whether it’s the first quarter, second quarter, or crunch time in the fourth, we got to be us. And that’s going to be the adjustment for Game 5.”

With Game 5 set for Toyota Center on Thursday, the Rockets have a clear understanding of their most immediate mission. Their season-long defensive might has served them well during crucial spans against the Warriors, with Houston scrambling and contesting at a fevered pitch.

The moments when the Warriors get rolling offensively have been harrowing for Houston, yet the Rockets mustered the gumption in Games 2 and 4 to claw back into contention behind their defense. When Golden State threatened to run off to a 3-1 series lead, Houston was unbowed.

“These are the moments that we spend all that time for,” Paul said. “Mental toughness is just as important as physical toughness, and I think guys on our team showed that.”

That level of perseverance wasn’t attached to the Rockets’ collective identity or aligned to Harden individually. But in Game 4, Houston finally won at Oracle Arena and snapped the Warriors’ 16-game home postseason winning streak. After falling to the Warriors in five games in consecutive postseasons Hernan Perez Milwaukee Brewers Jersey , the Rockets have finally cleared one hurdle. Another one awaits.

“We came a long way,” Harden said. “Obviously new personnel but we came an extremely long way, and we’ve been talking about it all season long (starting in the) summertime: put ourselves in the best position, and we’re doing that. And so, another opportunity Game 5, we’ve got to come out and take advantage of it. Simple.”

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