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Oilers Have Three Types of Offers Out to Defenseman Ethan Bear

What is the latest on Ethan Bear’s contract talks with the Oilers? Edmonton is working on three types of deals.

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As the 2020-21 NHL season approaches and the Edmonton Oilers gear up for an abbreviated training camp, there’s one name missing from the official roster. It is that of defenseman Ethan Bear and fans have been watching closely the status of the restricted free agent who exploded onto the scene last season and is looking to continue carving a path into the Oilers top-four.

Related: Oilers Sign Defenseman Slater Koekkoek to 1- Yr Deal

TSN 1260 host Jason Gregor provided an update on Bear’s talks with the Oilers and hinted a deal could get signed as early as today, depending on how Bear chooses to travel and how badly he wants to get into Edmonton be there for the start of camp.

Gregor writes in a two-part tweet:

Ethan Bear update: His agent, Jason Davidson and Oilers continue to have talks. One, two and three year deals have been discussed. Talks have been cordial. They just disagree on $$ at this time. Bear is skating in Kelowna.

Financials and numbers weren’t disclosed by Gregor, but most accounts seem to think the number is under $1 million on a shorter term.

Gregor adds, that to ensure Bear doesn’t miss day one of camp he has one of two choices. First, he can fly commercial which would mean he needs to be in city tonight. Alternatively, if he drives, and Kelowna is not considered a hot-spot, and he doesn’t go in any places, he has to be in Edmonton by the 31st.

Ethan Bear Edmonton Oilers contract negotiations

A Deal Will Get Done

While the two sides might not have the financials worked out yet, it’s important to remember that Bear has no arbitration rights and practically no leverage in his contract dealings. The best he can hope is that the Oilers want him to know they value him so much they are willing to pay him more than they “have to” now, in hopes he’ll remember their kindness later.

If Bear really wants to push his position, the only option he has is to sit out. This would be an odd season to do so. The biggest complication for the Oilers, outside of just coming to terms, is how to manage the cap and use LTIR to give them the most flexibility moving forward.

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