Friedman: Ethan Bear closing in on signing with new team for 2023–24 season

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
6 months ago
It doesn’t look like Ethan Bear is returning to Vancouver. In fact, he might be on his way to the U.S. capital.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman shared an update on the Bear sweepstakes in an intermission segment during Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. The 26-year-old defenceman appeared in 61 games with the Canucks in 2022–23, collecting three goals and 16 points.
Bear has been recovering from shoulder surgery since sustaining an injury while playing at the 2023 IIHF World Championship, at which he helped Team Canada win gold. As Satiar Shah reported earlier on Saturday, it appears the Canucks have been priced out of the running for Bear after acquiring Nikita Zadorov from the Calgary Flames in November.
“It looks as if Ethan Bear is getting close to resuming his NHL career — or, at least, picking the team that he’s going to do it with,” Friedman said. “There’s a number of other clubs that suspect the Washington Capitals have really made a strong bid here.
“Nothing official at this time, but it is believed that the Capitals have made a legitimate run at him. I did believe, when this process began, that Vancouver had the advantage, but there’s just other teams out there that can do what Vancouver can’t, cap- and salary-wise, so we’ll see how that unfolds over the next few days.”
The Canucks acquired Bear from the Carolina Hurricanes at the start of the 2022–23 season. Bear and Lane Pederson became Canucks in that deal for the low, low price of a 2023 fifth-round pick, and the Canucks might’ve been able to keep Bear had he not been injured at the Worlds.
Through 251 career games over parts of four NHL seasons with the Canucks, Hurricanes, and Edmonton Oilers, Bear has collected 16 goals and 63 points. He’s also appeared in eight career playoff games with the Oilers.

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