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Discussing the prospect of signing UFA Brenden Dillon in the offseason: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
18 days ago
On yesterday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed the prospect of Vancouver pursuing free agent defenceman Brenden Dillon as a potential replacement/upgrade over Ian Cole.
The 33-year-old Surrey-born right-shot defenceman is coming off another steady season serving on Winnipeg’s blue line and posted a career-best +20 plus-minus. Dillon is a solid presence on the back end and would be a prime target for any team looking to shore up their blue line.
“I’d be comfortable giving him 2, maybe 3 years at 3 million, and you’re upgrading your blue line over Ian Cole,” said Quads.
“He’s a legit number 4 or 5 defenceman,” Harm added. “He’s big, physical, defensively responsible, and a good penalty killer. The Canucks have basically cornered the market for that defenceman type under this management regime. Considering the price point, I might take Dillon over Zadorov straight up. Zadorov is projected at 6 million for 5 years. We know he had a playoffs for the ages; he’s such a unique specimen and I’d love to keep him, but I’d rather take Brenden Dillon at half the rate. They’re pretty similar in terms of overall impact; statistically, Dillon had the better regular season. Dillon ranked top 20 in the NHL for his pure defensive impact; he was basically Winnipeg’s Carson Soucy, even slightly better. He can hang in a top-4 role. Analytically, Dillon played at the level of a 4-million-dollar defenceman while Zadorov played at a 3-million-dollar level. I also worry about the recency bias of Zadorov; I love him, but I don’t want to pay a number 4 or 5 defenceman 6 million dollars on a long-term deal. It’s too much.”
Dillon appears to be a good candidate for Vancouver with Hronek, Myers, and Zadorov all due for new contracts. Myers may be the only candidate of the bunch the Canucks can bring back on a relatively team-friendly deal, and with around 25 million in cap space with a handful of impact players to bring back, a cap-crunching scenario of bringing Dillon in over one or two of those guys may very well be in play.
“I think you’re comfortable giving that money to Dillon because you’re comfortable enough with Soucy,” Quads chimed in. “If for whatever reason Dillon doesn’t work out, you’re not going to be stuck with Soucy also not working out, and all of a sudden you have four bottom-pairing guys you need to miscast in your top 4.”
“Soucy also got hurt multiple times this year,” Harm continued. “If Dillon starts in a third-line role, which he would, and there’s any scenario where a guy gets hurt, Dillon slides into the top 4, and he’s perfectly suited for that. He routinely averages 19 minutes a night. He’s not going to destroy guys in the neutral zone like Zadorov, but he throws his weight around. A classical, old-school, mean, hard-to-play-against player, sticks up for his teammates, well-liked in the locker room, and local boy. I really like the idea.”
You can watch the full replay of the show below:

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