TORONTO — Jason Dickinson says “six or seven” teams were interested in his services when the Dallas Stars made him available for trade leading up to the Seattle expansion draft, but it’s a safe bet he landed with the club claiming the most passionate fan base.
The new Vancouver Canucks forward — acquired for a third-round pick, then inked to a three-year, $7.95-million contract — is aware of the Canucks’ position in the B.C. sports conversation.
So, the 2013 first-round pick is preparing for a hotter spotlight than the one pointed at him in Dallas, where the Stars often go about their business in the shadows of the Cowboys, Rangers and Mavericks.
“I’ve been warned to be ready. That when the nights are bad, they’re bad. But when times are good, they’re really good,” Dickinson told Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek Monday during a taping of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast.
“If the team wins or loses in the playoffs, then the city burns, right?
“That's how it goes. You know you're gonna get good fans, people that understand the game and truly, truly care about it. It's not just the average fan that's like, ‘Oh, [watching hockey] is something you can do on a given night.’ You got people that really care about the organization and where it's been — and it's not jumping from team to team. They've been with this team since the beginning.”
The 26-year-old Dickinson was born in Georgetown, Ont., and starred in junior for the Guelph Storm, so he’s no stranger to towns where hockey matters most.
The versatile forward played both wing and centre and skated on both the top six and bottom six in Dallas. GM Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green haven’t told him yet exactly where he’ll slot in on a significantly overhauled Vancouver roster.
“They told me to be flexible,” Dickinson said. “It’s something I’ve gotten used to. I made that my identity in Dallas. On a given night, I didn’t know where I was going to play.”
(We should note, however, that teams seldom send bottom-six forwards to represent them on the NHL Media Tour.)
Listen to Dickinson’s full interview on an upcoming episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast.