NHL Rumors: One Team Emerging As Frontrunner For Ethan Bear

Ethan Bear's return to the NHL appears imminent, as Insider Elliotte Friedman has reported that talks have progressed and the frontrunners are now the Washington Capitals.

Friedman says that the Capitals have made "a legitimate run" at the right-shot D.

It sounds like it's gonna be Washington. No 100% confirmation, but a few teams that were in on Bear said that Washington has been aggressive... They're prepared to offer a little bit of term.

And term just might be the key here. A one-year contract has come back to bite Bear in the past, as his injury at the Worlds this past summer left him high and dry to start this season. So the fact that the Capitals are prepared to offer a multi-year deal, whereas other teams were just looking at a one-year, gives them the clear advantage, per Friedman. 

It was only a week ago that his club from last season, the Vancouver Canucks, seemed like the leader to bring him back, but they are apparently no longer in the running.  

Perhaps their decision not to tender him a qualifying offer this summer after he suffered the shoulder injury at the World Championships. He made $2.2M last year in Vancouver.

 Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports