There’s probably no player on the Blues who causes the kind of emotions Barret Jackman does among the fanbase. You either love the guy and his work ethic and understand the role that he plays on the team, or you hate him and want to see him strapped onto a rocket flying at the sun. There’s nearly no happy medium, which is comical considering that he’s just a shut-down defenseman. A good one, one that was a +20 rating last season (albeit he and Kevin Shattenkirk misfired something terrible in the playoffs for some reason), and one that’s been with the team his entire career. You want a player that bleeds Blue? Look no further.
Jackman re-signed today for three seasons for a $9.5 million deal, causing a good chunk of excitement on my Twitter feed, followed by tweets of people who hate Sir Jaxx. The hatred is understandable for fans of other teams — Jackman is a very frustrating, physical player to play against who purposefully eggs on the other team. That’s his job. The Blues’ fans hatred of him comes from a total misunderstanding of his role. He’s not Alex Pietrangelo. He’s not Kevin Shattenkirk. He exists so guys like that can be the offensive players that they are. He holds down the fort. It’s rare for a pre-lockout defenseman to have made the transition to the new non-clutch and grab era of hockey so well, but Jackman did just that.
Look at it this way: either the Blues re-signed Jackman at a reasonable amount, or they go out and overspend on a clutch shut-down defenseman who is a good leader on and off of the ice. They made the smart move. Keep the guy who knows the team and the system.