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Free-agent Bear skating with Capitals, expected to sign 'at a later date'

Ethan Bear Vancouver Canucks Ethan Bear - Getty Images

The Washington Capitals confirmed Wednesday that free agent defenceman Ethan Bear is expected to sign with the team "at a later date."

In the meantime, Bear will join the Capitals for their morning skate Wednesday as he continues to work towards a return from off-season shoulder surgery.

TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston reported last week that Bear is expected to ink a two-year deal worth roughly $2 million with the Capitals, who beat out multiple other suitors.

"The final details and some of logistics are still being ironed out. But it does appear that Ethan Bear will join the Washington Capitals," Johnston said. "And they emerge among a group of teams that included his former team the Vancouver Canucks. I think the Toronto Maple Leafs at least inquired there too. And some others, but the Capitals offered him a two-year contract. And it looks like that two-year deal will come in in the neighborhood of $2 million once it's completed.

"Bear, of course, is coming off shoulder surgery in the off-season - an injury suffered last year at the World Hockey Championship while playing for Team Canada. And the opportunity to play somewhere like Washington, a little bit of security, ultimately, is going to be what takes him to D.C."

The Canucks elected not to issue Bear a qualifying offer in June after he was given a six-month timeline for the injury. He played in eight games at the tournament, earning a gold medal with Canada.

Bear had three goals and 16 points in 61 games last season, his first with the Canucks.

In 251 career NHL games, he has 16 goals and 63 points split between the Edmonton OilersCarolina Hurricanes and Canucks.