Only a few days after it was first reported he would join the Washington Capitals, former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ethan Bear will sign a contract with his new home this week. PuckPedia revealed the nature of this contract on Twitter on Tuesday night.
So... yeah. Bear is expected to sign with the Capitals later this week on a two-year, $2.0625 million contract, which isn't all that expensive in reality. The Canucks effectively priced themselves out of the conversation with the Zadorov trade, and a potential Andrei Kuzmenko trade never came to fruition either.
In theory, the Canucks do have the cap space to sign Bear to the contract he is going to sign with the Capitals, but again, they have Carson Soucy and Guillaume Brisebois on LTIR. Soucy is only about a month out from a return to action, which means the Canucks would be forced to make a move ahead of that time in order to activate him with Bear on their roster.
The other risk factor with Bear, and perhaps one of the main reasons a deal didn't come together, was the multi-year term in the contract. The understanding, as has been said by Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, is that the team preferred to sign Bear to a one-year deal, and then revisit a potential long-term solution in the summer.
This is because of the Canucks' buying out of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, partly. Vancouver only owes him $146,667 this year, but they'll lose $2.346 million next year, and $4.766 million in the two years after that. With Elias Pettersson and Filip Hronek due for extensions in the summer as well, the Canucks would have needed to be very careful with how they spend their money, and when. However, with Bear now officially set for Washington, this is all water under the bridge.