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ETHAN BEAR & CAROLINA FAR APART IN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, GAINS PERMISSION TO TALK W/ OTHER CLUBS

JUN 21, 2022  (0H30)      JON
Per Elliotte Friedman, the Carolina Hurricanes have given D Ethan Bear permission to talk to other teams about a contract. Bear is a restricted free-agent, which means any team who signs him much offer draft pick compensation, depending on the average annual value of the offer sheet:

image

Additionally, per the sacred Collective Bargaining Agreement the Hurricanes may elect to match any offer sheet, however given their history of signing big tickets, they will probably take the draft pick(s) & tell whoever to keep the change. Friedman reports that the Hurricanes have spoken to Bear's camp about a contract but preliminary negotiations were not even close. Bear is an interesting player.

After being traded from Edmonton, he had an up & down season in Carolina. Playing only 58 games, he was healthy scratched more than once, although Carolina is quite deep on their right defensive side. He managed 14 points from the Canes' blue line. That, plus the Canes' depth equal Don Waddell probably not wanting to overpay Ethan Bear, which explains this news. Bear's underlying numbers tell an interesting story, on the other hand:

image

They show a 24 year-old two-way defenseman who has played well on both sides of the puck in a sheltered role. Rod Brind'Amour & staff hardly deployed Bear in special teams situations & clearly didn't trust him to play against the other teams' best players. So are his positive play driving numbers due to Bear's play or simply the results of a dominant Hurricanes' system? Tough to say, but it could be an interesting gamble for a team in need to defensive depth.
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