The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired defenseman Ethan Bear from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Warren Foegele.
The Oilers have had a rough offseason so far and their defense is where it really shows. They extended the defensively challenged Tyson Barrie, acquired Duncan Keith and reportedly Cody Ceci, while trading away Caleb Jones and now Bear. The right-handed Bear was arguably their best two-way defender last year. He also has a cap hit of just $2 million before becoming a restricted free agent next year. The Hurricanes have lost top defender Dougie Hamilton in free agency. Brett Pesce will step up to the top-pairing, while Bear is a very good replacement. He is young and cheap for the next year. The price is low, as Foegele was out of their plans for next year.
Bear, 24, scored two goals with six assists for eight points in 43 games for the Oilers in 2020-21. In his NHL career, all for Edmonton, he has scored eight goals with 25 assists for 33 points in 132 games.
The return for the Oilers is a bit underwhelming. For sure, Foegele is a good player. But to trade Bear, you would like a top-six winger back. Foegele is at best a penalty killing third-liner. He is also a current restricted free agent who will almost certainly get more than the $2 million Bear has for this year. The Oilers have improved their awful forward depth, which is a plus.
Foegele, 25, scored 10 goals with 10 assists for 20 points in 53 games for the Hurricanes in 2020-21. In his NHL career, all for Carolina, he has scored 35 goals with 33 assists for 68 points in 200 games.