Report: 4-5 teams (including the Canucks) in on Ethan Bear

Photo credit:© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
6 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks are one of four or five teams interested in procuring the services of unrestricted free agent defenceman Ethan Bear for the 2023–24 season, Vancouver hockey insider Rick Dhaliwal reported Wednesday.
Bear, 26, has remained unsigned this offseason after suffering a shoulder injury while playing with Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Championship. The 5’11” right-handed defenceman collected three goals and 16 points while averaging 18:32 of ice time in 61 games with the Canucks in the 2022–23 regular season.
Dhaliwal discussed Bear’s situation — and the Canucks’ overarching struggles with developing defence prospects into NHL players — with Don Taylor on Wednesday’s episode of Donnie & Dhali — The Team on CHEK TV.
“The Canucks have four right-shot D left in camp: Hronek, Myers, McWard, and Juulsen,” Dhaliwal said, noting that Juulsen could be claimed if placed on waivers. “McWard is a rookie and we all know why he’s still here — he’s a right-shot D.
“It’s why the Canucks are still showing interest in Ethan Bear, who continues to rehab the shoulder injury he had at the World Hockey Championships,” Dhaliwal continued. “His agent told me this morning he’s not in a rush to sign right now, right away, but four, five teams are in the mix, including the Vancouver Canucks.
“They called the agent a week ago just to keep tabs on how the injury is. There’s interest, I know there’s interest from the Canucks in Ethan Bear.”
The Canucks originally acquired Bear from the Carolina Hurricanes alongside Lane Pederson early in the 2022–23 season in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick.
The Edmonton Oilers originally selected Bear in the fifth round (No. 124 overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. Bear made his NHL debut with the Oilers in 2017–18 and spent parts of three season in Edmonton before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. In 251 career games with the Oilers, Hurricanes, and Canucks, Bear has collected 16 goals and 63 points.

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