Wishing nothing but the best on Ethan Bear

Last night Ethan Bear entered the NHLPA Player Assistance program
Ethan Bear, Washington Capitals
Ethan Bear, Washington Capitals / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Washington Capitals defenseman Ethan Bear is stepping away from the team to receieve care from the NHL and the NHL Players Association or NHLPA through their Player Assistance program.

You might recall Jakub Vrana, former Capital, entering the program last season. You may also recall Evgeny Kuznetsov being under that care for about a month before they traded him to Carolina.

Per the NHL press release Bear will be "unavailable to his Club for an indefinite period while he receieves care from the Player Assistanace Program of the NHLPA and NHL. Under the terms of the joint program, he will return to the Club when clared for on ice competitiion by the program administrators."

Bear was signed by the Capitals on Dec. 28 to a two year deal after the defenseman rehabbed from offseason shoulder surgery. He had four points in 24 games this season with one goal and four assists.

Bear has not suited up in seven of the Caps last 10 games. Part of it was illness while the other part was just being the odd man out. It was still a good pickup and Bear helped improve the Capitals defense tremendously.

As imporant as it is to play in the game it's just as imporant to work on your mental health. All of us at Stars and Sticks wish Ethan Bear nothing but the best with whatever he's going through. It's not your buisness, mine, or any of ours but as long as he's getting the help he needs that's all that matters.

Although the Capitals were off yesterday this was part of a crazy news day that included news about arenas. The Caps will end the month of March with a road contest tonight at the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. on Monumental Sports Network and a home game Saturday night against the Boston Bruins.