The transaction comes a day after T.J. Oshie went down with an upper-body injury that head coach Todd Reirden says will keep the forward out for “quite some time.” Oshie was shoved into the boards by forward Warren Foegele in a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
The Caps have now lost two in a row and find themselves tied 2-2 in their opening-round series against the Hurricanes that heads back to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday.
Smith-Pelly could potentially be a boon to the Caps lineup. After scoring a modest seven goals in 75 regular-season games in 2017-18, the 26-year-old finished fourth on the Caps in 2018 playoff goals with seven in 24 games behind only Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Oshie.
And Capitals fans haven’t forgotten Smith-Pelly’s clutch performance in the Stanley Cup-clinching game against the Vegas Golden Knights last June.
Despite that successful stretch in the 2018 post-season, Smith-Pelly struggled to produce in 2018-19 and only managed four goals and four assists in 54 NHL appearances. He had 14 points in 20 games with the Bears this season.