I thought it’d be ‘fun’ to revisit Ethan Bear’s last game as an Oiler.
It was game 4 in round 1 of the playoffs.
There were about 15 minutes left in the game and we had a lead!
Bear really screws up here and sets a sequence that would send us into Overtime.
However, Bear didn’t play the rest of the period.
Or the first overtime.
Or the second overtime.
He finally got a shift in the third overtime... a full 60 minutes (a full NHL game!) later.
You have 3 options to blame here. Connor McDavid for a poor dump in that didn’t go deep enough. Bear for a poor line change or Smith for letting a weak goal.
Bear is no longer an Oiler so I’m assuming Tippet and Holland had a chat. I’m assuming they agreed Bear was to blame. They are both assumptions. I can’t prove it otherwise. Dave Tippett would certainly disagree:
Tippett interview by @JasonGregor and @frank_seravalli is very good.— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) August 17, 2021
Lots to digest and unpack.
Fancy stats stuff with Tippett starts ~39 min in. Tippett interview starts ~14 min in.
Tippett says he doesn't uses goals against to judge players (much to the chagrin of some) https://t.co/4188avO8tV
However, Smith got resigned and Connor is still here (thank god) and Bear is gone.
I always pictured Tipp and Holland having a beer and Tipp saying ‘everytime I put Jones or Bear on the ice, the other team scores’. We were up 3-2... Bear played 2 shifts and we lost 4-3. Jones was in the pressbox. Koekoek played 9 minutes. Bear played 14. Nurse played 62, Barrie played 49, Russel 32 and Larsson 39 minutes. Are we sure Tipp doesn’t punish players for goals against?
Maybe Tipp doesn’t hold goals against players but sitting a player for a full 60 minutes while playing 4 D in 3 overtimes is pretty telling.
After this game, Bear would endure slurs for his heritage.
Ethan Bear's girlfriend shared this post after she said he received racist messages on his social media - adding that he appreciates the love and support from everyone else. #yeg #oilers #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/7uwHShsHlj— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) May 26, 2021
A shortwhile later he was traded for Warren Foegele. On the surface, it isn’t the worst trade and I think Foegele will be a nice addition to our bottom 6 or Top 9. This site seems to have found a lot of ‘reverse trolls’ this summer where posters are coming on and commenting on the posters and writers (and not the Oilers). They say we are negative. Well, this site LOVED Bear and Jones. Over the moon about them. I was not as high on either but saw no reason to get rid of either for older much more maligned players who’s former fanbases all were okay to see them leave.
However, Bear was drafted and developed by us. He was cost controlled and would seemingly have a nice career ahead of him. The Oil D is not very good and has not been very good in a long time. Some will lament about Petry being traded. However, we FINALLY drafted some good support D in later rounds. Marino, Jones, Lagesson and Bear. Only Lagesson is left of that group. Being able to find, develop and use players you drafted outside of round 1 is a calling card of cup contenders. One thing they all have in common. Something the Oil had been poor at till this last 2 years when we started seeing 2nd to 6th round picks donning the Oil Silks. This was a great step in the right direction. Khaira was another example and he’s gone too. Benson is no longer waiver exempt and on a 2 way contract.
On the surface, the trade is not offensive or out of this world like the Hall or Eberle trades. It is disappointing though when we think 4 years of Tyson Barrie entering his 30s at more money is better than a cost controlled Bear in his 20’s. Or Cody Ceci. Or the fact that only young D we now have is Evan Bouchard. I’m calling it now (feel free to quote me) that this trade will come back to haunt us as Ethan is now on a much more stable blueline and will continue to improve. We are officially into the ‘greybeard era’ that doomed the Red Wings to the bottom of the NHL.