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Canucks Acquire Ethan Bear from Hurricanes

The Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenseman Ethan Bear and forward Lane Pederson from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick.
Ethan Bear

It's been a busy 24 hours in Vancouver. 

After taking a flier on one young player in need of a fresh start on Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks pulled the trigger to bring in another, acquiring defenseman Ethan Bear from the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, along with forward Lane Pederson, in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2023. 

As reported in the deal, the Hurricanes will retain 18 percent of Bear's $2.2 million cap hit this season. 

Bear had been rumored to be on the move for quite some time, with the young defenseman clearly falling out of favor with the Hurricanes' coaching staff in his time with the club, leading to him being a healthy scratch in every game this season. 

There's no doubt that Bear is a worthwhile player to take a flier on, possessing some very intriguing tools that can be quite effective if developed properly. But it's a risk nonetheless. 

Did Bear have a great 2021-22 campaign? No, he didn't. And he'd probably admit that himself.

Bear suited up in just 58 games this past season, averaging the lowest ice-time total of his career thus far and racking up just five goals and nine assists for 14 points while displaying the same hesitancy in the defensive end that landed him outside the Canes' top-six towards the end of the season. Injuries played a factor in Bear's struggles, absolutely. But he could have been better.

Still, there is cause for optimism. Bear is a young player still trying to iron some things out. How many of those have we seen go on to accomplish great things?

Not to mention, Bear is a right-shot defenseman in a league with very few of them, who puts up encouraging underlying numbers and still has some room left to grow.

For the Canucks, who may very well boast the worst defense corps in the NHL outside of Arizona, Bear is a worthwhile reclamation project who is still young enough to develop and has proven he can handle heavy minutes in the right situation. 

The Canucks' front office has been aggressive of late to salvage their disastrous start to the season. Whether these moves will help that cause remains to be seen. 

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