What Ethan Bear brings to the Capitals

The Washington Capitals have finally made it official, signing the 26 year old defenseman Ethan Bear to a two year, $4.25 million contract. It will carry an average annual value (AAV) of $2.0625 million.

Ethan Bear, Washington Capitals
Ethan Bear, Washington Capitals / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
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In 251 career NHL games, Ethan Bear has recorded 63 points with 16 goals and 47 assists. He's played previousy with the Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, and Edmonton Oilers. The Washington Capitals have upgraded their defense and didn't use an overpriced veteran in the process as they make their push for the second half of the season.

Listed as five foot 11 and 197 pounds, Bear spent last season with the Canucks where he had16 points with three goals and 13 assists in 61 games. Bear had been on the Caps radar for much of December and there was a previous report that the Caps signed him after good pursuing.

He had an injury that he had to get through before he was cleared to practice but it began to crystallize once Bear was spotted around MedStar Capitals Iceplex during team practices. The Caps announced they were going to sign him after the NHL roster freeze which has finally ended.

After a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers, the Caps were back on the ice at noon today at the Islanders home rink. Bear practiced and was skating on the second pair with Rasmus Sandin, per Bailey Johnson of The Washington Post.

Bear's injury was to his shoulder which set him back as teams passed on him in free agency. With the signing, the Caps defense just got better.

Per Natural Stat Trick, Bear had some good advanced stats last season. At five on five, he had a Corsi For percentage of 50.48 percent, an Expected Goals For percentage of 50.80 percent, and a High Danger Chances For percentage of 52.66 percent.

The Capitals take on the New York Islanders tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. before returning home on Saturday to host the Nashville Predators to end the 2023 slate of the calendar.