St. Louis Blues Re-sign Barret Jackman

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2012 12:36PM

The already meager list of quality defensemen slated for free agency dropped by one today, as the St. Louis Blues signed Barret Jackman to a three-year contract worth $9.5 million.

Jackman is an archetypal defensive defenseman. He ranked third in total ice-time for the Blues this year, despite seeing no power play time, playing a nightly average of 17:11 at even-strength and 3:26 on the penalty kill. He was also far and away Ken Hitchcock’s top choice for defensive zone work, he saw quality opposition and given the situations he was playing in his Relative Corsi number was superb (Relative Corsi is a measure of all shots, missed shots and blocked shots while a player is on the ice, adjusted for team strength, and serves as a strong proxy for puck possession).

Jackman’s 31-years old, and while he has had some injury trouble he has played 60+ games every year since the NHL lockout and is coming off an 81-game season.

This is a huge win for the Blues and a big loss for teams hoping to shore up their back end this summer. Jackman’s cap hit on this deal drops by a hair under half a million, and makes him a very affordable piece of the St. Louis defense corps for the next three seasons. He almost certainly would have commanded more as a free agent, but the prospect of playing for a legitimate contender in St. Louis – the only organization Jackman has ever played for – has great value too.

This summer’s free agent class is now projected to have just six defensemen under the age of 35 who played 20+ minutes per game last season and appeared in at least 25 contests. That group includes Brad Stuart – likely to be signed by San Jose before July 1 – and Ryan Suter, who will be able all but name his team and price in free agency. July could be a very profitable month for players like Dennis Wideman, Matt Carle, Jason Garrison and maybe even Scott Hannan.

This week by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 TrentonL
June 18 2012, 02:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The whole UFA crop is light on top end talent, but a diligent team could still add depth pieces that could fill holes. Guys like Spacek, Salvador, Sarich, Kubina, Aucoin, Rozsival, White or Colaiacovo could all help stop the ship from sinking.

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