Former Washington Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon spoke to the media via Zoom call last Tuesday afternoon, roughly 18 hours or so after it was announced he had been traded to the Winnipeg Jets.
“Some neighbors of mine had some kind of beer league hockey and I got invited out too. So I went out to that last night, and it was a later ice time, as you can imagine, being on a Monday night,” said Dillon.
“Sure enough, got off the ice and just as everyone’s winding down, one of the guys said they’d checked their Twitter or Instagram. Next thing you know, you look at your phone and there’s a couple missed calls, and off we go.”
Thank you DMV for everything! What a past year and a half it’s been. Made some lifelong friends and relationships I’ll cherish forever. Was a pleasure to rock the red 🤜🏼 🤛🏼 pic.twitter.com/3eGxpN9OW9
— Brenden Dillon (@BDillon04) July 28, 2021
Dillon has been down this road before, having been involved in two previous trades. The first one sent him from Dallas to San Jose 20 games into the 2014-15 season for fellow blue liner Jason Demers and a third-round draft pick. And then he was dealt by the Sharks to Washington just before the deadline in February of 2020 for a second- and a third-round draft pick. (Dillon was traded to Winnipeg for two second round draft picks).
Those were “hockey” trades, while this latest transaction was for purely business reasons. And Dillon gets that.
“There’s a guy by the name of Ovechkin who needed a new contract this summer, and you know, he’s done a heckuva lot for the franchise in Washington — not just for that but for the game of hockey and the NHL,” said Dillon.
“Those are conversations that I’m not a part of when it comes to management and him. For Washington, they’re a cap team that’s trying to win the Stanley Cup every year.”
— TJ Oshie (@TJOshie77) July 27, 2021
After signing a four-year contract extension, Dillon tallied two goals, 19 points, and a +15 rating while averaging 18:57 per game (including 1:47 while shorthanded) in 56 games. Dillon recorded a 50.40% Corsi-for percentage, a 51.56% expected goals-for percentage, and a 51.97% expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five.
By Jon Sorensen