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Canadiens Could Have Shot At Interesting D-Man On Waivers



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens are still looking for a right-shot defenceman, and a previously identified target could be available via waivers in the near future.

On a recent segment of 32 Thoughts, NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman spoke about defenceman Ethan Bear and his current situation with the Carolina Hurricanes.

“Bear wants to play, he hasn’t played since the start of the season. From what I’ve been told, the Hurricanes are telling other teams they don’t have a cap problem and won’t keep 50% of Ethan Bear’s salary if they’re not getting a good return. They believe he’s an NHL Player.”

Friedman followed up on the Hurricanes’ attempts to move Bear and what could be coming in the future.

“They’ve been close (to moving him) a couple of times, I believe Vancouver was one of the teams, but Bear wants to play” said Friedman. “So either in the next little while, someone’s going to make the offer better, or he’s going to go on waivers. I think this is coming to a head, because Bear wants to play.”

The 25-year-old defenceman has been in a weird situation, as the Carolina Hurricanes have had Bear on the NHL trade market since the summer. In the meantime, the rugged rearguard has yet to suit up for a game this season, making him a very expensive 7th defenceman at $2.2M on the cap. However, during his time with the Edmonton Oilers, Bear proved to be a physical and stable defenceman who could hold down the third pair, with the upside to get better.

The logjam on defence and the lack of available cap space across the league has made it difficult for the Hurricanes to extract prime value for their defenceman, but perhaps a deal could materialize with the Canadiens, who could provide a combination of roster players, picks or prospects to acquire the defenceman without hurting their rebuild.

Another option that Friedman pointed to would be waivers, as some movement on Bear is expected real soon. With the Canadiens still owning priority on waivers for another week, they would get first crack at Bear if he does find himself there, and they would have the necessary space to incorporate him within their salary structure.

It could be a good gamble for the Montreal Canadiens, who could easily recoup any assets spent, or gain new assets, by flipping Bear at the trade deadline should the Canadiens be sellers.

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Who would they send to Laval. Kovacevic? He has to go through waivers. Harris, Xhekaj, Guhle.

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