Ned Kuflan of the Detroit News has an interesting proposition for fans of the Red Wings: if you can’t get star defenseman Ryan Suter during the free agent frenzy, Barret Jackman’d do in a pinch. Are Suter and Jackman comparable? Absolutely not – they have different roles on their respective teams and perform those well. Booming point shot? Suter. Rough and tumble old school shutdown? Jackman. It’s an interesting theory, but probably one that most Blues fans would prefer to not see happen.
Come July 1st, Jackman is an unrestricted free agent if he is not re-signed by the Blues. Jaxx has stated that he would like to stay with the team that drafted him. Heck, he even told Andy Strickland that it wasn’t about money, noting that “you could make more money elsewhere and still be unhappy.” It’s rare that you hear a pending free agent say that, although in St. Louis it seems to happen more often than fans like. The difference between Albert Pujols and Barret Jackman is that Jaxx probably actually means it.
He was disappointing in the playoffs, giving the “OMG BARRET JACKMAN IS TEH SUCKS!” crowd something to crow about. But during the regular season, there’s no one better suited to give the opponent a face wash or to block a shot. He’s loyal to the team, he’s veteran leadership on a team that might not be bringing Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott back, and who else will the Blues’ rely on to tell opponents they’re a dumbass without saying a word?
Sure, fans’d be concerned about him joining so many other Blues who left St. Louis and then won a Cup with Detroit. But if I were them, I’d be more concerned about losing a guy that we’d just have to turn around and replace with the same type of player, but in a cheaper model.