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‘They wanted me here’: Ex-Canuck Ethan Bear talks signing with the Washington Capitals

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
2 months ago
By now, you’ve heard the news. Ethan Bear isn’t signing with the Vancouver Canucks, he’s heading to the Washington Capitals. On Wednesday, Bear skated with the team, despite not having actually signed a contract just yet.
“I’ve heard such good things about the [Capitals] organization, they have great leadership here,” Bear said. “It honestly felt like they cared a lot. They want me here, instead of needing me.”
Well then. That certainly seems like it’s a rather targeted quote, aimed firmly at the Canucks’ front office.
We’re not here to tell you what to make of it — hell, we’re not even here to tell you that this was without a doubt a shot at the Canucks. It was just one of those things we read that made us go “hm.”
In any event, although Bear’s contract hasn’t been rubber-stamped, it definitely appears as though he’s locked into heading to Washington. The 26-year-old defenceman played in 61 games with the Canucks last season, collecting three goals and 16 points.
According to multiple reports, the Canucks were one of many teams pursuing Bear this season after he ramped up his recovery from summer shoulder surgery. Bear was injured while playing for Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Championship.
After it became apparent that Bear would leave Vancouver to sign with the Capitals, Canucks president Jim Rutherford expressed his disappointment at losing the defenceman during an appearance on Donnie & Dhali.
“Patrik [Allvin] had regular communication with the agent. We thought we were the frontrunners,” Rutherford said. “You go back to last year when we brought him here and nobody in the league really wanted to deal for him. We brought him here and kind of helped him along with his game. Unfortunately, he got hurt. It didn’t make sense to sign him because he was getting insurance money from Hockey Canada because he got hurt at the World Championship, so he was covered that way.
“It got down to the end and there was a little bit of change,” Rutherford added. “I’m sure it’s partly because of money. It’s a little disappointing because we put a lot of work in and we really thought that he was coming back to the Canucks, but he has the right to choose and I take it he chose another place where he feels that it’s best for him.”

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