It’s never a dull moment for the Vancouver Canucks.
During the first intermission of their preseason tilt against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday evening, the team took to Twitter, announcing that they had acquired defenceman Riley Stillman from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Jason Dickinson and a 2024 second round pick.
A former first round selection back in 2013, Dickinson spent his first six seasons with the Dallas Stars before being traded to the Canucks in July 2021. The deal occurred just hours before teams needed to finalize their protection lists ahead of the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, with the Canucks sending back a third round pick in return.
Dickinson was signed to a three-year, $7.95 million contract a few weeks later, one of the last moves from former General Manager Jim Benning.
At the time, Dickinson was exactly what the team needed: a right-handed, defensively-sound, bottom-six centre who could kill penalties while also putting up decent points production.
Unfortunately, the trade didn’t work out for the Canucks.
Dickinson only notched five goals and six assists in 62 games last season, and never really found his stride with the organization.
And with Curtis Lazar and Nils Åman essentially locked in to fill the 3C and 4C roles to start the season, it was only a matter of time until current General Manager Patrik Allvin found a way to dump Dickinson’s $2.65 million cap hit, albeit at the expense of a second round sweetener.
In return, the Canucks are able to utilize Stillman on their depleted blueline, an issue that is once again plaguing the organization, particularly with the recent injuries to Tyler Myers and Travis Dermott.
Myers is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks with a lower-body injury, while Dermott’s return timeline is still up in the air, leaving an opening for Stillman.
Stillman averaged just over 15 minutes of ice time in 52 games with the Blackhawks last year, while also registering two goals and 10 assists.
Most importantly, the 24-year-old blueliner only comes with a $1.35 million cap hit for the next two years, saving the team valuable money.
The Canucks are set to kick off the 2022-23 season against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night, giving Allvin plenty of time to make more deals if needed.
What are your thoughts on the Dickinson trade? Let us know in the comments!