NHL Rumors: 3 Free Agent Destinations for Ethan Bear

The Vancouver Canucks decided not to qualify Ethan Bear, making him an unrestricted free agent. To this point, he still hasn't found a new team and is definitely good enough to play in the NHL. Thus far, his NHL career has taken him from the Edmonton Oilers to the Carolina Hurricanes to the Canucks. His career year came at age 22 with the Oilers and he is looking for a home where he can get back to that level. He is young and still has lots to give, so let's see where an opportunity can arise for him.

San Jose Sharks

On the San Jose Sharks' current roster, they have two defensemen who played 20 minutes or more per night last season, and one of them, Erik Karlsson, appears to be heading out of town this offseason. Not only are the Sharks rebuilding, they don't have a strong back-end to say the least. There is space and opportunity for Bear to come in, play more minutes, and get some confidence in his game back.

Florida Panthers

With Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour expected to start the season on the injured reserve, the Florida Panthers' defense looks weak and filled with seven left shot defensemen. Bear, a right shot, might be a target for this alone and because the Panthers wouldn't have to pay him big money to come in. Their depth currently includes players like Mike Reilly and Matt Kiersted, so Bear, who actually played a decent amount of games in the NHL last season, is an upgrade and will remain useful even when the lineup gets healthy.

Calgary Flames

There are still lots of questions surrounding the Calgary Flames and what is going to be done with the many 2024 UFAs. Tyler Toffoli was already moved and along with a couple of key forwards, there are also defensemen Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, and Oliver Kylington who might be on the move as well. I don't believe all will be around to start the season, so the Flames will need some cheaper depth to come in and give them games. During a transitional phase, Bear could get a good look if certain players are moved.

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