One of Dallas’ two unsigned RFAs isn’t all that happy with his current situation.
Defenseman Brenden Dillon — who, along with fellow restricted free agent Cody Eakin is currently MIA from Stars training camp — told the Vancouver Sun his set of circumstances “sucks” while skating with the WHL Giants.
More, from the Sun:
“You can kind of look around the league at guys who are strong, kind of two-way bigger defencemen — (Dillon is listed at 6-3 and 225) — who can skate and move the puck, and that’s what I feel I am… a guy who can be a top-four defenceman, a guy who can play minutes, play against other teams’ big players.
“You see other guys and you know there is a market for things and that’s what I’m starting to learn. You grow up playing hockey and you’re thinking ‘oh, I just want to play the game, it’s so much fun.’ Then you realize it is your job.”
Dillon, 23, has been a vital contributor in Dallas over the last two seasons. He broke onto the scene during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, averaging over 21 minutes while appearing in all 48 games, finishing 10th in Calder voting. Last year, the British Columbia native scored 17 points in 80 games — which included a career-high six goals — leading all Stars in hits (168) while finishing second in blocked shots (149).
Dillon’s three-year, entry level deal paid $900,000 annually, but it sounds as though a tidy raise could be in the cards. He’s a bit of a tricky case in terms of comparables given he wasn’t drafted, had his rookie year age at 22 and only has 129 games on his resume (another 1990-born defenseman, Zach Bogosian, has 352), but it’s possible Dillon could use the contractual template Detroit established with Danny DeKeyser.
Dillon and DeKeyser have a few things in common: both born in ’90, both undrafted and both blossomed into talented rearguards. DeKeyser, though, managed to get his new deal done before the start of Detroit’s training camp — a two-year, $4.375 million deal that pays $2.187M annually.
Dillon wasn’t talking dollar figures this week, but remained confident a deal will get done.
“It’s that time of year when I should be down there [in Dallas] and I want to be down there,” he explained. “It is what it is and this is the part of the game that I can’t really control and that’s why, as players you have to trust in your agent.
“Hopefully things are going to get closer and closer and then eventually get done.”