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Reports: Quiet with Burroughs, Juulsen, and Bear as free agency nears; Canucks “out” on UFA Milan Lucic

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
7 months ago
If there’s anything we’ve learned over the years, anything can change with one phone call.
But right now, things are quiet between the Vancouver Canucks and free agents Kyle Burroughs, Noah Juulsen, and Ethan Bear, according to a report from Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie and Dhali — The Team. Here’s what Dhaliwal had to say.
“With Bear, Juulsen, and Burroughs, it’s very quiet,” said Dhaliwal. “I’m gonna sit here and tell you I’m a little surprised. When I checked in on Bear, Juulsen, and Burroughs this morning all I can report is it is very very quiet. I don’t know what the Canucks’ thinking is. We’re up to UFA, some of these guys gotta get qualified and all I can report on Bear, Juulsen, and Burroughs when I checked in this morning… Are they willing to let all three go? I don’t know, but certainly not hearing that they’re close or that there’s been a ton of progress. Every time I check in on these guys, I’m told ‘quiet.'”
The Canucks reportedly extended a contract offer to Kyle Burroughs soon after the buyout of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but it would seem the offer wasn’t quite what Burroughs’ camp is looking for as free agency nears. Burroughs is coming off of a two-year two-way deal with the Canucks that carried an NHL salary of $750,000 and a minors salary of $400,000 in year one and $500,000 in year two. Burroughs never played a game in the AHL over those two years, so it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if he’s looking for the security of a one-way contract.
As for Noah Juulsen, the Canucks acquired him in the trade that sent Olli Juolevi to the Florida Panthers prior to the 2021-22 season. Juulsen has served as solid organizational depth for the club down in Abbotsford, and didn’t look out of place during a brief NHL stint playing alongside Quinn Hughes to close out the season. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Unlike Juulsen and Burroughs, Ethan Bear is a restricted free agent whose situation is a bit more complicated. It seemed like a guarantee that the Canucks would extend Bear a qualifying offer to retain his negotiating rights through free agency, but there seems to be plenty of uncertainty surrounding Bear on the heels of his recent shoulder surgery that’s expected to keep him sidelined until mid-December.
If Bear were to accept his qualifying offer, he would take up $2.2 million on the Canucks’ salary cap and would become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. It’s an incredibly unfortunate situation for Bear and the Canucks, as the club has made it no secret how much they’ve liked Bear since before he even became a Canuck. Acquired last October from the Carolina Hurricanes, Bear registered three goals and 16 points while averaging 18:32 minutes in ice time through 61 games this season. Bear was Quinn Hughes’ most consistent defence partner and appeared to almost certainly be in line for a pay increase from his current $2.2 million cap hit.
The Canucks have until Friday, June 30th at 2 PM Pacific Time to qualify Bear. If they don’t he will become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday, July 1st.
Dhaliwal also mentioned that after Milan Lucic’s camp was given permission by the Flames to reach out to other teams, the Canucks — Lucic’s hometown team — are “out of the mix” to land the veteran winger.
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