Jason Dickinson is sticking around for another two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The team announced Dickinson signed a two-year contract extension with a $4.25 million salary-cap hit over the length of the deal.
Dickinson is having a career season and he is the only Blackhawks player other than Connor Bedard with double-digit goals on the season. Dickinson already blew past his career-high in goals and is on pace to score 27 goals this season.
Talk about winning a trade. The Vancouver Canucks sent a second-round pick last season for the Blackhawks to take on his current $2.65 million salary cap and all the Hawks had to do was send back Riley Stillman.
Dickinson is the second pending unrestricted free agent that general manager Kyle Davidson has inked to an extension. Unofficial captain Nick Foligno signed a two-year extension last Friday. There was hope that Dickinson would follow suit.
There is an outside chance Dickinson could make the All-Star Game if the NHL decides the Blackhawks still need a representative to replace the injured Bedard.
Keeping Dickinson around for two more seasons is good thing for these three reasons…
It is another short-term deal that helps get the Hawks to the salary cap floor with a player they are comfortable with.
The Chicago Blackhawks must get to the salary cap floor next season. This deal helps accomplish that. It also means the Hawks do not have to go to the free agent market and risk giving out deal with more years just to get to the floor.
Also, the franchise is keeping a player they like having around. His teammates love him. Nick Foligno encouraged the team to give Dickinson an extension.
It can never hurt to be the team that rewards players who work hard to get better.
It is a low-risk opportunity to see if Dickinson is having nothing more than just a career year.
Dickinson wanted more years on his deal.
Two years is smart to give him. Dickinson could just be having his career year and turn back into a single-digit goal scorer next season. Heck, someone must score on this team.
At the same time, if he proves this not an aberration, the Hawks can always make a longer commitment in two years. Dickinson will only be 30 by then. The key will be to avoid giving him a Brent Seabrook deal and pay for past performance if he puts up two more double-digit goal seasons.
On one hand, the Hawks are going to lose out on his trade value possibly never being higher than what it is right now. On the other, if he shows he is not a one-hit wonder, he can either be moved at future trade deadlines, or he can be a part of the next competitive Hawks team.
We know he would be a solid third or fourth-line center who could score on the next great Hawks team by what we have seen this season. He has earned the right to get an extended look as a future piece. If he turns out to be nothing more than lightning in a bottle, the Hawks can get out of his deal quickly.
Keeps another respected veteran around to mentor the young Blackhawks.
One of the reasons why Foligno was extended was for his leadership. Dickinson has also been acknowledged for his guidance. He got the “A” when Seth Jones was out.
His leadership was cited as a reason Davidson gave him an extension.
Dickinson gets what Davidson is trying to build here. It cannot hurt to have guys willing to play both ways and grind. The Blackhawks have prospects that are more talented than Dickinson. You need someone like Jason to show them you cannot win in the NHL on talent alone. You must be willing to defend. You must be willing be on the penalty kill. You must be willing to put in the work to improve your game.
Dickinson worked hard this offseason and it literally paid off.