Vancouver Canucks not expecting Ethan Bear back until mid-December
Photo credit:© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
3 months ago
Ethan Bear isn’t expected to be ready to start the 2023-24 season.
Late Thursday morning, Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin announced that the right shot defenceman underwent successful shoulder surgery after his injury which he suffered at the IIHF World Championship. Bear was at the tournament for Team Canada along with Canucks teammate Tyler Myers. Although Bear missed both Canada’s semi-final and final matchup, the two Canucks rearguards left the tournament with gold as Canada managed to beat Germany in the final.
Bear’s injury appears to have occurred in Canada’s quarterfinal matchup against Finland on this play:
On Wednesday, Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie and Dhali — The Team reported that Bear would undergo surgery after a “discussion” phase as it was originally believed that Bear may be able to play through the injury. Dhaliwal noted that the expected recovery time was 4-5 months, which would have meant Bear could have returned sometime in mid-October or mid-November. The fact the club is expecting six months isn’t great, and means that Bear is likely to miss the first two months of the season.
For a team that’s thin on the right side as it is, and a team that’s going to look to avoid stumbling out of the gate yet again, this is a tough blow.
Bear is a restricted free agent this offseason and will need a new contract for next season. 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 be almost certainly in line for a pay increase from his current $2.2 million cap hit. But with the news of the surgery, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Bear accept his qualifying offer and take the one-year deal that will walk him right to unrestricted free agency next summer.
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