Free agent Ethan Bear turns down Maple Leafs to join Eastern rival

He’s back.

Published 3 months ago
Free agent Ethan Bear turns down Maple Leafs to join Eastern rival

Free agent defenseman Ethan Bear has not played in an NHL game since April 13th of last season. With the Vancouver Canucks last season, he collected three goals and 16 points in 61 games. Rumours emerged last week that Bear could be heading East, and while the Toronto Maple Leafs were reportedly interested in his services, it sounds like the blue liner has picked the Washington Capitals instead.

This is what Chris Johnston reported on last night’s edition of Insider Trading on TSN:

“The final details and some of logistics are still being ironed out. But it does appear that Ethan Bear will join the Washington Capitals . And they emerge among a group of teams that included his former team the Vancouver Canucks . I think the Toronto Maple Leafs at least inquired there too. And some others, but the Capitals offered him a two-year contract. And it looks like that two-year deal will come in in the neighborhood of $2 million once it’s completed. Bear, of course, is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason - an injury suffered last year at the World Hockey Championship while playing for Team Canada. And the opportunity to play somewhere like Washington, a little bit of security, ultimately, is going to be what takes him to D.C.”

Once the Capitals sign Bear, they will need to proceed to a roster or waiver move as Washington currently plays a full complement of 23 players.

Bear was seeking security because he’s been quite on the move for a 26-year-old player ever since he was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. He was then traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for a short stint before heading to the Canucks.

There is no doubt that Bear is a rising defenseman who can log heavy minutes and will be used accordingly in Washington. However, we bet the Maple Leafs could also have use Bear, but probably wouldn’t have been able to offer him the same security.

Waiting on this deal to be made official, but it should come soon, straight out of DC.

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