Washington Capitals to sign Ethan Bear after roster freeze

The Capitals defense just got better

Ethan Bear, Washington Capitals
Ethan Bear, Washington Capitals / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals annouced this morning that they are expected to officially sign defenseman Ethan Bear at a later date. Bear will join the team for today's morning skate happening as we're writing this as he continues his rehabilitiation process.

Last night at 11:59 p.m. the NHL went into a roster freeze for the holidays which whill run through 12:01 a.m. on December 28. The Capitals take on the New York Islanders tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena on TNT then tomorrow night they're at the Columbus Blue Jackets for another December back to back.

On Saturday night the Caps host the Tampa Bay Lightning and then after the Christmas break they're at the New York Rangers on Dec. 27. The earliest Bear can officially sign and join the Caps roster for a game is the next one on Friday Dec. 29 at the Islanders as he can join the day prior.

Last season with the Vancouver Canucks, Bear recorded three goals and 13 assists for 16 points. He also had 82 blocks and 39 hits while averaging 18:32 minutes of ice time in 61 games. He's 26 years old and is listed as five foot 11 and 197 pounds.

Bear had shoulder surgery over the summer and was expected to be out for six months. He suffered it while playing for Team Canada in the summer's IIHF World Championship.

The native of Regina was a restricted free agent and was considered by some teams but nobody picked him up. The Canucks ruled themselves out of it not too long ago and then it was reported the Caps signed him to a two year deal worth north of $2 million.

While he adjusts to his new teammates, space was cleared for him when the Caps put Lucas Johansen on waivers and he cleared and headed to the Hershey Bears.