fr24news– Jason Dickinson don’t know exactly where the feeling is coming from.
The Vancouver Canucks center has a burning desire – a need, really – to stand up for what it believes.
“I don’t know,” Dickinson said after a long pause when asked about this personality trait. ” I just did it. ”
The Georgetown, Ont. Native stood out in August 2020 when he joined the Vegas Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves, who is black, goalkeeper Robin Lehner then teammate of the Dallas Stars Tyler Séguin, who like Dickinson are both white, kneeling down during the US and Canadian national anthems in the NHL’s post-season bubble.
They were the first NHL players in uniform to kneel for social justice and equality, and the first to do so during the O Canada game.
“Black Lives Matter, equality, justice – you can choose the term, it doesn’t really matter,” Dickinson said at the time. “Educate yourself, examine things, watch documentaries, talk to people.
“Just learn, try to open your mind a little… this is a big problem that needs to be solved. “
Acquired from Dallas for a third-round pick this summer before signing a three-year, US $ 7.95 million contract with the Canucks, Dickinson remains open to voice his opinion in a sport where this has not historically been the case, including when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.
“The vaccine works – it works,” Dickinson said bluntly. “There are a lot of people who want to discuss it. And I guess that’s their right, but there are a lot of people losing their rights right now by having to wait (the unvaccinated). “
However, after taking that knee he also experienced something new – a vitriolic flashback, especially online.
“Social media is tough,” the 26-year-old said on the NHL / NHLH media tour last month. “People are much more willing to speak up because they never have to face (consequences), necessarily. You have a lot of people who will be expressing some pretty scandalous opinions
“Pretty scary that some of these thoughts are there. “
Scott Walker, who coached Dickinson in the juniors with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, said his former player’s stance on social justice and how he went about expressing it hadn’t been a surprise.
“He didn’t come out on Instagram the next day to say we should all do it,” said the former NHL winger. “He just does what he thinks is right.
“He doesn’t impose his program on anyone. “
It’s the same soft-spoken, motivated Dickinson who helped Guelph win the 2014 OHL title.
“His belief system is his belief system,” Walker said in a recent telephone interview. “He just does what he thinks is right and doesn’t need attention. “
And that’s pretty much the approach Dickinson brings to the ice.
“Consistency, reliability,” he said of his characteristics as a player. “Not flashy, but I’m efficient. “
The 29th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft is also perfectly in tune with his strengths and limitations within a team that has personalities like Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat above him in the central hierarchical order.
“I’ll create offense, but not necessarily a ton,” said Dickinson, who has 25 goals and 63 points in 225 NHL regular season games. “I’m going to be the guy who finds himself in a shorthanded situation or at the last minute when we have to protect our net. “
This responsibility in his team’s zone is something he has had in his tool belt since minor hockey.
“I always worried about the defensive end first,” said Dickinson. “My dad, my coaches always preached it to me while I was growing up. It ended up becoming natural. “
Walker described Dickinson, whom he named Storm captain in 2014-15, as both “a silent leader” and “a coach’s dream”.
“Low maintenance, can play throughout your roster,” said Walker, who played four seasons with the Canucks in the 1990s. “Where he fits for Vancouver (to begin with) will be different from where we will meet in Vancouver. They will be able to use them in so many positions.
“His hockey sense is elitist.
Canucks head coach Travis Green said he’s noticed an unexpected level of maturity from a player with a relatively slim NHL resume, even though he includes 40 postseason games with the stars.
“He looks older than the games he’s played,” Green said. “He asks good questions, he wants to make sure he understands what we do, how we play, the type of system.
” It is refreshing. ”
Growing up outside of Toronto, Dickinson is up for the roller coaster ride in a Canadian market.
“When things are going well, it is good,” he said. “But you have to accept that when things are bad they are bad.
“If you want them to like you (all the time), go somewhere that doesn’t understand the game.”
Walker has no doubts that Dickinson, who has dedicated his time to charities in Guelph and Dallas, will make his mark on and off the ice in Vancouver.
“I have a lot of respect for Jason… he’s just the most amazing person,” Walker said. “Very conscientious, very attentive, very attentive.
“It’s an amazing fit… they have a good one. “