The Vancouver Canucks added depth to their defence and gave themselves some salary cap flexibility by trading centre Jason Dickinson and a second-round draft pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenceman Riley Stillman on Friday.
Stillman, 24, played 52 games with Chicago last season, recording a career-high 12 points from two goals and 10 assists, plus 36 penalty minutes. The Peterborough, Ont., native also registered 67 blocked shots, ranking fifth on the team.
“We see him as a third-pairing defenceman,” said Canuck general manager Patrik Allvin. “He’s a character player, hard to play against and will help us with our depth.”
In 108 career NHL regular season games split between Chicago and Florida, Stillman has 18 points (3-15) and 68 penalty minutes.
Stillman was originally selected by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round, 114th overall, in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Dickinson, a native of Georgetown, Ont., played 62 games for the Canucks last year, collecting five goals and 11 points. The 27-year-old spent six seasons with the Dallas Stars after being selected in the first round, 29th overall, of the 2013 draft.
The move will save the Canucks some money. Dickinson was scheduled to earn US$2.65 million this year and next. Stillman’s contract is US$1.35 million this year and next.
“It’s part of the league,” said Allvin. “You want to make sure you have flexibility moving forward. It was part of it.
“We are happy to get Riley and Jason Dickinson is a good hockey player. It’s obviously never an easy decision but I think in the end both clubs were happier.”
On Friday the Canucks said veteran defenceman Tyler Myers will miss up to four weeks with a lower-body injury believed to have happened in Vancouver’s 5-4 pre-season win against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. Defenceman Travis Dermott is also sidelined with a concussion.
Allvin said the injuries have allowed players such as Jack Rathbone and free-agent signing Christian Wolanin to show themselves in training camp.
“We’re really happy to see the internal competition that all the good teams need,” he said. “In this case we feel that we have more in that position and will give the coaching staff options.”
—Jim Morris, The Canadian Press