Report: Hurricanes grant Bear permission to speak with teams
Carolina still hopes to sign Bear, but the two sides are not close to an agreement, Friedman added.
Bear recorded 14 points in 58 games last season while averaging a career-low 16:05 per contest. His underlying numbers were rather pedestrian:
Carolina acquired the 24-year-old from the Edmonton Oilers last offseason in exchange for forward Warren Foegele. Bear's previous contract carried an average annual value of $2 million.
Bear would not be eligible to sign an offer sheet with an opposing team until free agency opens July 13. The Hurricanes could, however, re-sign him or trade him before then.