Someone we all expect to move during this summer is another one of the right-handed defensemen on this roster. Ethan Bear is the man and there are a couple of reasons for this. There’s the issue of the Carolina pipeline and the fact that the team seemed to cope without the Cree defender with very few issues. If Bear is trying to get every penny he is worth, he’ll likely get moved.
With a qualifying offer of $2.4 million, Bear is unlikely to be offered that and has recently been given permission to seek a better offer from another team as reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. While we are not certain whether or not the Canes will retain the services of the Regina, Saskatchewan native, he is certainly a player in demand in the hockey world. Rightfully so.
Bear is just 25 years of age and is a cost-controlled right-handed defenseman that started the season on the top pairing of one of the best teams in the NHL. Now, it is true that his season never recovered after his stint on the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol list, and it was discussed in his end-of-season press conference about him potentially suffering from the long-term effects of the virus.
Bear also seemed to have a nagging ankle injury. Another thing mentioned in his press conference after the Canes’ game seven loss to the New York Rangers was Bear having “a little something” removed from his foot after walking into his interview on crutches with a protective boot on it. It’s a worrying sign, but it does explain the dropoff that came after his injury at PNC Arena against Calgary when he hobbled off the ice at the final buzzer.
While Bear is not exactly a flashy player, I think it is more than fair to say that he could return a mid-round draft pick. Something like a third-round pick from a team like Vancouver is more than achievable. Recouping assets for players you do not plan to keep around is just good asset management. If it is possible to do, the Hurricanes will find a way to get something back, I’d imagine.