NHL Rumors: The Vancouver Canucks may no longer be the front-runners for Ethan Bear

Donnie & Dhali: Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor on free agent defenseman Ethan Bear who is working himself back from shoulder surgery. The Vancouver Canucks may not longer be the front-runners.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Dhaliwal: “All right, Donnie, we are getting close to crunch time on where UFA defenseman Ethan Bear will sign. One week ago I thought Donnie, the Canucks were the front runners to land him, I don’t get that feeling anymore. Still four to five teams and on Bear, three including the Canucks, showing big time interest.”

Taylor: “What are we looking at here?” (video at bottom – showing Bear on the ice)

Dhaliwal: “Ethan Baron in Kelowna working out. I got this video morning, Donnie. I can’t tell you where I got it from but I’m gonna tell you, got it. Look at this guy. He’s, he’s almost there. Donnie. He’s …”

Taylor: “One of the cameramen who worked the Wizard of Oz I think.”

Dhaliwal: “Not. The camera man at the, at the, at the, he’s right on ice level. So it’s good camera work actually, the guy that sent it to me.”

Taylor: “and carry on.”

Dhaliwal: “So okay, what does competition do? It drives up the price. The Canucks still have cap issues and if teams offer Bear a two-year deal with decent money, I think that’s going to make it tough on Vancouver.

I believe the agent Jason Davidson will start talking contract with teams next week. Teams are allowed to travel the Kelowna, watch bear workout. Elliotte Friedman, our good friend had that night. I believe some teams have looked at him in Kelowna already. But the Canucks, I’ve been told I’ve yet not traveled to Kelowna to watch him.

Bear is expected to be close to 100% after Christmas, but he is not far off from there right now. He did not have to have this surgery. Keep this in mind, Don. It was optional, but I believe the shoulder is going to be better thanks to the surgery. So we’re going to, I think Ethan Bear, we’re going to find out starting next week, Donni, where he could possibly end up.

Taylor: “So other teams in on Ethan Bear.

Dhaliwal: “Oh big time.”

Taylor: “And we look at this video and this isn’t great, obviously for our podcast listeners, but he looks pretty impressive here.”

Dhaliwal: “Yeah, he does.

Taylor: “But this isn’t testing the shoulder.”

Dhaliwal: “No. Skatings not been an issue for Ethan. It’s going to be the shoulder but I’ve been told the shoulders feeling pretty damn good. And the skating is right there. He’s working out, teams can go watch Donnie in Kelowna and the teams that are interested, and I don’t believe the Canucks have yet, but I’ll look into that more. But they don’t need to look Donnie to go to Kelowna, he was with the Canucks
last year.”

Taylor: “But you don’t know the shoulder situation and last time I hit hot, last time I checked, hockey you’re allowed to hit?”

Dhaliwal: “Yeah.”

Taylor: “It’s a physical game.”

Dhaliwal: “Absolutely.

Taylor: “So, you know, maybe things have changed for Ethan Bear versus the time he spent with the Canucks recently.”

Dhaliwal: “The cap situation is going to play difficult for the Canucks. If you gets a two-year deal, Donnie might be hard for the Canucks to match teams that are coming in on a two-year deal. And the other teams know the Canucks are capped out too so.”

Taylor: “If you’re a five, six defenseman anywhere in the National Hockey League or anywhere, anywhere in the world hockey, you’ve got a good chance of being on the Canucks, don’t you?”

Dhaliwal: “Yeah.”