The Hurricanes made their first major addition to the blue line via trade on Wednesday, sending the RFA rights to Warren Foegele to Edmonton for young defenseman Ethan Bear.
Bear spoke to the media via Zoom Friday about joining the Hurricanes, here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On leaving his home and the community in Western Canada: It’s really interesting. This is the first time I’ve had to experience this. It’s been a pretty crazy couple days. Obviously I got a lot of support and a lot of people who are going to miss me here, but at the same time, I’m excited to be a Hurricane and to get to Carolina. I’m sure I’m just going to be who I am, and we’ll see what happens when I get there.
On his season last year: Obviously, there’s a lot of things that I wasn’t able to do. We have COVID, and then you take a puck to the head, there’s just a lot of bad bounces there. I’m really excited for this fresh start. I’m excited. I want to work hard and prove myself again. I’m excited for that, but obviously I didn’t have as good a season as I liked. I’m just going to use that as motivation here going forward.
On his career trajectory: That’s hard to say. That’s nothing I can really control right now. All I can say is that I’m willing to work hard. I’m going to make sure my diet’s good, just come to camp in the best shape possible. I’m excited to join a young, winning team, with [Rod Brind’Amour] as the coach. I hear a lot of good things about him. I’m very excited. I’m just going to come to camp in the best shape possible and just hit the ball running. And just have fun again. Playing here was pretty stressful, so I honestly can’t wait.
On if he knows anyone with the Hurricanes: I’ve talked to a couple guys from the team, some guys reached out already. But I’m actually still training here in Edmonton. I actually joined [Jordan Martinook] here for a couple workouts already. So he’s been kind of filling me in on what I’m expecting. I’m excited. I also know a couple of the past players who played for the Canes in Joel Edmundson and Micheal Ferland. So I think the transition’s going to be pretty smooth, so I’m looking forward to it.
On the influence his older brother, Everett, has had on his career: He’s been awesome. He’s been my rock. He’s a big reason why I’m playing this game. He’s given me a lot of tips growing up. He’s definitely someone I still look up to to this day. I know he’s got family and works hard, but whenever I need any advice in the game or just mentally. Just whatever I’m experiencing, he’s one of the first guys I call. He understands everything in and out and I’m very lucky to have someone like Everett in my corner.
On what he’s hoping to accomplish on the offensive side of the game: I know I can contribute in pretty much all aspects of the game. I think I’m a pretty well rounded two-way defenseman. That’s the fun part for me. I really enjoy defending. It’s a fun part for me and I’ve always taken a big pride in it, but when you can get into the rush and create something at the blueline, I think that’s where you have the most fun in the game. Honestly, I’m just going to work on all my skills and work hard and see what happens. I’m excited and I’ve got new energy and I wanted a fresh start. I want to make a good first look and first impact, so we’ll see how it goes.
On what he would want Canes fans to know about him: I’m a competitive, compassionate guy. I work hard, I battle hard, I’m all smiles and I’m always having fun. I love to be a part of the group and I wanted to come to a winning organization with a young core. For me, it kind of gives me butterflies. It’s something that I’ve always wanted, and it’s something that I needed right now and I can’t wait. I’d say I’m also a good two-way defenseman. I can skate well, I can shoot and I think I make a good first pass. That’s a little bit about me.
On if he welcomes the chance to get to play in a smaller market even if it means being away from home: To be honest, I’m really looking forward to it. It was nice to be not that far from home, but at the same time you’d have everybody coming in and somebody always needing something. In a sense, it is a relief. It’s fun to get away and for myself, my girlfriend and my two dogs, we’ll get to experience the States again. I’m excited for it and very looking forward to it.
On what kind of dogs he has: I have two little ones. I have a Yorkie-weiner dog and I just got a miniature wiener dog. Easy to travel with.
On his thoughts about being on the same team as Tony DeAngelo: I’m looking forward to playing with Tony. I’ll never judge a book by its cover and I always believe everyone deserves a second chance. He messaged me yesterday and I really appreciated that from him. You never know what’s going to happen. It could be really good. He seems excited, and I’m excited. When I first saw that, it didn’t really pop into my head at all as a worry or a concern. I know he’s a very good player so I think it’ll be good.