Canucks Defenseman To Miss Start Of Season After Surgery

The Vancouver Canucks have lost a Top-4 defenseman for the start of the 2023-24 NHL season, after an injury suffered last month at the IIHF World Championship. Five-year veteran Ethan Bear has undergone shoulder surgery and will be out for six months.

The decision to go under the knife was made after some consideration, as Bear suffered the injury back on May 25 at the Worlds.

Canucks GM Patrik Allvin made the announcement Thursday afternoon, calling the surgery successful. The six-month timeline would have the key defenseman back in the Vancouver lineup sometime in December. 

Bear averaged 18:32 of ice time this season in his 61 games, netting 16 points (3 goals, 13 assists) while rating a plus-6. 

Turning 26 later this month, Bear is a restricted free agent this summer, and the Canucks had been mulling on what type of extension to offer the D-man. He earned $2.2M this past season, and it's unknown how today's developments will affect the contract negotiations.

Cap Friendly lays out the options as (1) giving Bear a qualifying offer of $2.2M to retain his rights; (2) not QO him, sending him into unrestricted free agency; or (3) signing him to an extension and placing him on LTIR.

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