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Brenden Dillon certainly not ruling out signing with hometown Vancouver Canucks

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Photo credit:© Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Jagraj Lalli
24 days ago
Could a hometown reunion be in the cards for Brenden Dillon?
 
Dillon joined Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor on Donnie and Dhali – The Team on Monday morning to discuss his past season, upcoming UFA status, and life with a growing family.
Dillon plays for the Winnipeg Jets but has also played for the Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, and Washington Capitals. He went undrafted and played four seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Seattle Thunderbirds before turning professional. In 892 career NHL games, Dillon has 37 goals, 159 assists, and a plus-minus of +66. In the playoffs, he has tallied one goal and 14 assists through 83 games.
Reflecting on his offseason, Dillon shared how fatherhood has changed his perspective. “Just being a dad, I’ve got a two-year-old, so she keeps us really busy. You start to understand what the wives and families go through on a day-to-day basis when we’re out at the rink. Fortunately, we’re able to do what we love every day, all day, or travel. It’s been so much fun for me.”
Dillon’s Winnipeg Jets were eliminated from the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Colorado Avalanche in five games. During the interview, Dillon recounted the frightening moment in the playoffs when he sustained a gruesome hand injury. “Unfortunately, it was just a super weird play. As I was getting up, one of their defencemen skated over, and I thought he was going to come and punch me, but he actually said, ‘Hey, Dillon, your hand, you’re bleeding.’ I looked down, and it was really scary. I didn’t feel anything because of the adrenaline of an NHL playoff game, but the amount of blood coming out was definitely scary. I’m very fortunate to have had great medical attention to get my hand looked at.”
Discussing his career and future prospects, Dillon acknowledged the unique challenges of playing in a Canadian market. “I’ve been very fortunate to play in the NHL and be a dad. For myself, it’s almost like my wife and I ran out of things to do in Winnipeg, so we decided to start a family. Playing in a Canadian market is different from the teams I played with in the States, but it’s been a lot of fun and brought some excitement, as well as anxiety and stress, especially in a contract season. I’m definitely excited, and we’ll see what the next couple of weeks bring.”
Regarding his UFA status and the possibility of playing for his hometown Vancouver Canucks, Dillon remained open-minded.
“I think I can speak for every guy that plays in the NHL and is from BC—how cool would it be to play for your hometown team? It was nice watching the last series and seeing Macklin Celebrini. He was there watching, and you just see the way that hockey is growing. For me, over 13 NHL seasons, but even from when I was in junior, it’s cool to watch and see the Jamie Benns and other BC boys impacting the game. Of course, what Connor Bedard did this year, and yeah, I’m understanding now as the years go by that business is a big part of how things are. General managers have their eyes set on certain ways they want their teams to look.”
“Specifically for me, I need to continue to show what I can bring and what I can do. This year was really fun to be able to impact things offensively a little bit more. I said in Winnipeg, ‘Hey, if you guys aren’t going to score for me, I guess I’m going to have to shoot it a couple more times.’ So, it was a fun season. Like I said earlier, anytime you’re going into free agency, you hear some of the horror stories of guys, whether it’s pricing themselves out or not wanting to go to a certain place or team. For me, I’m really open and excited—really just an open book going into July 1.”
Dillon also shared his commitment to fostering young talent through his summer hockey camp in Langley, B.C. “I run a hockey camp at George Preston in Langley every summer. It’s just a young day camp with kids anywhere from ages six to ten. You think at those ages, you’re still just teaching the essentials and basics of the game—how to be part of a team and how to create your own specific role within that team. My love for the game was fostered by having amazing parents and a great support system. It didn’t matter how many teams I got cut from—I was still going to that hockey camp I wanted to in the summer. I was still getting the hockey stick I wanted for Christmas. The support was always there.”
Reflecting on his time in a Canadian market, Dillon highlighted the intensity and passion of the fans.
“Growing up in a Canadian market, I was one of those kids who would fall asleep with the game radio on in my bedroom. Now, being part of a Canadian market, I get to experience that intensity firsthand. Coming home and hearing neighbours yell over the fence about why we didn’t get all four wins on a road trip instead of just three is something you just have to chuckle at. For Winnipeg, the last three years have been a mix of personal success and team success. When you’re doing well and having success, it’s easy to go to the rink every day, and it’s easy to go home and unwind.”
Watch the full interview below:

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