Underwhelming players have been few and far between this season, but one of the players that would certainly be put in that conversation is Ethan Bear. Despite a strong start to the season, Bear never seemed to recover from his time on the COVID-19 roster and that seemed to come to light in his exit interview. While that is not his fault, it certainly brings a lot into question.
Bear has been given permission by the Hurricanes to discuss his future with other teams. Now, Carolina has always tried to allow its players what is best for them. We know this so it isn’t a shock. However, the Canes wish to bring Bear back and he is pricing himself out of Raleigh at this moment. Carolina can afford to look elsewhere, but having Bear back would be nice for simplicities sake.
Bear’s qualifying offer is $2.5 million as he comes off a 2-year, $2 million per year deal. While this might not be the best ballpark for Bear, it’s his rough asking price. If he wants to play elsewhere, the Canes are going to look at moving him. He could net something along the lines of a third-round draft selection ahead of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, which is where the Canes’ front office seems to have the most trust in itself.
What is interesting about Bear in this scenario is that despite reports that Carolina was going to move Bear, they want to bring him back. We know that there were a lot of issues given Bear suffering from long-term Covid and “something” that he had removed from his foot. Seemingly, the Cree defenseman would like a fresh start, and I’d imagine it is something Carolina tries to entertain.