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Vancouver Canucks Acquire Young Defenceman

vancouver canucks defenceman

Getting Ethan Bear traded has long been a “back burner” job for the Carolina Hurricanes. They finally moved him with the help of the Vancouver Canucks.

Ethan Bear Traded

The right-side defenceman hasn’t been able to break into the Hurricanes’ lineup in four regular-season games. That depth made Bear expendable, but his salary made the restricted free agent hard to move. The portion of salary retained by Carolina is $400K per season of his remaining year. That brings the cap hit down to $1.8 million.

In addition, the Canucks are getting 25-year-old centre Lane Pederson, another right-handed centre with 44 games of NHL experience. He is on a one-way, $750K deal that makes him an RFA at the end of this season.

Returning to the Hurricanes is Vancouver’s fifth-round pick for this year.

What This Means

In a separate but linked transaction, Vancouver has sent forward Will Lockwood down to Abbotsford, leaving Vancouver with eight defencemen in the NHL. The only waiver-exempt defenceman currently with the team is Jack Rathbone who has played three NHL games so far this year. That leaves the Canucks packed tight, though Guillaume Brisbois and Noah Juulesn are low-risk if they are moved down.

This is the second trade in two days for Vancouver. It’s hardly major surgery for a team that was the last in the league to get a win but does improve them. Previously they shored up their right-handed centre position with Jack Studnicka. With Curtis Lazar out, Studnicka is going to step directly into the lineup. Pederson, on the other hand, needs to pass waivers to join the big club, so he’ll likely start in Abbotsford.

Bear has played 190 NHL games, getting Calder Trophy attention in his first full year with the Edmonton Oilers. He is a young, right-handed defenceman that has been an oft-speculated target for a couple of seasons. While he can play on the left side, there’s no way the team will place him there in a regular position. They do have issues all through the defence – especially with Quinn Hughes injured – but the preference for defenceman hands to match their sides will prevail.

Interestingly, Bear’s best season is when he plays higher in the lineup. Where he will join Vancouver is a mystery for now, but his best game is on the offence. Seeing him on the top pairing as soon as tonight wouldn’t be a surprise.

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