The Vancouver Canucks are “definitely interested” in right-shot defencemen Nils Lundkvist and Ethan Bear, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
In a Monday morning appearance on Donnie and Dhali – The Team, Friedman said the following:
“I do think the Canucks are interested in Bear,” said Friedman. “The one thing is, Lundkvist’s number is easier for them cap-wise than Bear’s is, so that’s one thing. The other thing is I think Bear is a guy who can probably help them more right away.From what I’ve heard, Bear is a tougher deal to make in terms of their fit with Carolina and their cap implications than the Lundkvist one is and we’ll see if that turns out to be true or not.Basically what I heard with Bear is they’re definitely interested, but I’m not sure that there’s a deal to be made there. Lundqvist they’re definitely interested, and I think there’s the possibility of a deal to be made there and I think it’s a little bit easier for them for cap reasons.I just think that if this season is more meaningful to them, I think Bear gives them a better shot this year than Lundqvist does. He’s a talented young guy.”
Lundkvist, 22, was drafted 28th overall by the Rangers in 2018 and recorded one goal and three assists through 25 NHL games last season.
Lundkvist was passed by another young right-shot defenceman, Braden Schneider, on the Rangers’ depth chart and asked for a trade out of New York this offseason.
Last week, Lundkvist’s agent Claude Lemiuex told USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano that his client will not be in attendance for Rangers training camp and will remain in Sweden until the club honours his trade request.
Lundkvist has two years remaining on his entry-level contract, which carries a cap hit of $925,000 this season and next.
Bear, on the other hand, is older, and as Friedman pointed out, is harder for the Canucks to make work under the cap. The 25-year-old Bear is owed $2.2 million this season and will be an RFA at the end of the year.
Bear tallied five goals and nine assists through 58 games with the Hurricanes last season.