Another day, another trade for the Vancouver Canucks.
The team took to Twitter on Friday morning, announcing that they had acquired right-handed defenceman Ethan Bear, as well as centre Lane Pederson, from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2023 fifth round draft pick.
It has been an up-and-down year for Bear, who has not played a single NHL game with the Hurricanes after signing a one-year, $2.2 million RFA deal during the offseason.
Originally drafted 124th overall by the Edmonton Oilers back in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Bear played two more seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, notching an impressive 135 points in 136 regular season games, before making his NHL debut near the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
During his time in Edmonton, Bear registered eight goals and 25 assists in 132 games, while also posting career-highs in goals (5), assists (16) and PIMs (33) during the 2019-20 season.
The Regina, Saskatchewan native was eventually traded to Carolina at the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline, with forward Warren Foegele going in the other direction.
Bear did not play any games for Carolina for the remainder of that season, but managed to put up five goals and nine assists in 58 games the following year.
With so many roster injuries, it’s expected that Bear will immediately slot onto the Canucks’ blueline. Bear could also very likely find himself in a top-pairing position next to Quinn Hughes in the coming weeks, which would be a tremendous opportunity for the 25-year-old Ochapowace Nation member.
Hughes is currently listed as week-to-week, joining fellow blueliners Tucker Poolman, Travis Dermott and Riley Stillman on the sidelines. The team is also currently without Brock Boeser and Curtis Lazar, who were placed on injury reserve on Wednesday.
The Bear trade came less than 24 hours after the Canucks acquired centre Jack Studnicka from the Boston Bruins, indicating that General Manager Patrik Allvin and President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford have no intention of shying away from big moves for the organization moving forward.
The Canucks were also able to get Carolina to retain $400,000 on Bear’s AAV, leaving the team with just under $200,000 in LTIR cap space.
The Canucks are back in action on Friday night, looking for their second consecutive win against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST.
What are your thoughts on the Bear trade? Let us know in the comments!