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Hurricanes Sign Bear to One-Year Extension

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Ethan Bear to a one-year contract extension.
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Arguably the most unpredictable restricted free agent saga of the offseason has been resolved. 

For now, that is. 

The Carolina Hurricanes found common ground with one of their promising young defenders on Wednesday evening, reportedly agreeing to terms with Ethan Bear on a one-year contract extension. 

PuckPedia was the first on the report. 

The deal now ties Bear to Carolina for the 2022-23 season and comes just days before the two sides were set to meet before an arbitrator. 

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. A $2.2 million price tag might be a bit of a risk for a reclamation project, but Bear has shown the ability to be a solid contributor in a playoff team's top-four before during his time in Edmonton. 

If he can recapture that magic, the Hurricanes will be laughing all the way to the bank. 

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