The "change of scenery" cliche often gets thrown around when discussing trades in professional sports. Sometimes it's an empty platitude, but other times it actually holds weight. The latter certainly applies to Chicago Blackhawks' forward Jason Dickinson in the early stages of the 2022-23 NHL season.
Dickinson began his career in Dallas, where he developed into a solid depth forward. He never posted flashy offensive numbers, but he played an important role for a Stars team that eventually reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2020.
A mid-summer trade in 2021 sent Dickinson to Vancouver, where he signed a three-year deal with the Canucks. But after an underwhelming 11-point campaign, it just didn't work out north of the border.
Looking to free up salary cap space, the Canucks traded Dickinson to the Blackhawks just four days before the start of this season. Hawks' fans seemed more excited about the 2024 second-round draft pick that accompanied Dickinson in the deal, but the former first-rounder is off to a nice start in Chicago.
Jason Dickinson is Settling Down and Settling in With the Blackhawks
"Always feels good to get a goal," Dickinson said with a chuckle after scoring his fourth of the season on Thursday.
That tally put Dickinson one shy of his total in 62 games with Vancouver last season. It also landed him in a tie with Max Domi for the second-most goals on the Blackhawks this season. Furthermore, Dickinson's seven points are tied for third on Chicago's leaderboard.
After missing the first two games of the season due to a visa hold-up, Dickinson has been a mainstay on the Chicago Blackhawks' third line, and a productive one at that. He introduced himself to his new team with a three-point effort in his debut, which was a product of playing loose.
"I know over my career I’ve overthought too much sometimes, and that definitely is a problem when I start playing poorly. [I’m working on] just going out there and playing, simple as that," Dickinson told Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times after his first game with the Blackhawks.
Thanks to a change of scenery — and a change in mentality — Jason Dickinson is thriving in his new threads.