But Dickens had to put his NHL aspirations on hold. After his rookie season he was summoned off to the Canadian military as part of the effort in World War II.
Dickens did not return until 1945. He played one more season with the Leafs, but was no longer the highly anticipated youngster. In fact, he was replaced by the next star young defenseman - Bashin' Bill Barilko. Dickens spent most of the next couple of seasons in the minor leagues before he was moved to Chicago as part of the big Max Bentley trade.
Dickens played four seasons in Chicago, quietly providing reliable defense with the Hawks.