Found June 18, 2012 on
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St. Louis Blues
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ST. LOUIS Let's begin by understanding this: Barret Jackman's return to the St. Louis Blues was far from certain.
Sure, the 31-year-old defenseman had said in recent weeks he wanted to stay in the city he has called home for each of his 10 NHL seasons. Sure, general manager Doug Armstrong had made retaining Jackman a priority before the player was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
But nothing, really, was known about where Jackman would dress next season before he agreed to a three-year deal with the Blues on Monday worth a reported 9.5 million. Some named him a possibility for the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators. He's known as an aggressive player if not a little worn so some thought free agency would offer a fresh start elsewhere.
His situation is a reminder that choice is a complex thing. The past molds us, shapes us and makes us into the people we become. Then at some point for most of us we decide if a change in environment would be best for future growth.
Of course, Albert Pujols thought so and traded a Stan Musial-like legacy for 254 million and a new shade of red in Anaheim. LeBron James gave up comfort in Cleveland to chase an NBA title on South Beach. Both left for reasons ranging from ego to financial gain, but both were forced to rebuild their professional lives.
As they found out, starting over can include a drastic adjustment. Pujols and James learned the process is as much mental as it's emotional. There's no simple answer for whether change is the right choice for any situation, but it's a discovery each person must learn on his or her own.
Jackman unlike Pujols and James chose to approach the future by looking to his past. For the Blues, it guarantees a seasoned leader will return to complement a group of defensemen that includes Ian Cole, Alex Pietrangelo, Roman Polak, Kris Russell and Kevin Shattenkirk. For Jackman, it gives him a chance to build on a legacy that has produced 139 points in 598 games played and a plus-minus rating of 33.
For both, the agreement adds a sense of consistency to what should be a revealing 2012-13 campaign for the defending Central Division champions. The Blues will try to improve upon a 109-point year in which they appeared in the Western Conference semifinals for the first time since 2002.
Now they will do so with a veteran face, because Jackman's unknown is over.
"We had a good discussion after the season ended when I got back from the World Championships," Armstrong said in a teleconference. "I wanted to be sure that Barret still felt this was the right place for him to continue his career. He felt that he wanted to stay here and continue to grow what we're building right now. It became a business decision and an economic decision, and we were able to work through that. I think both sides are satisfied and excited about moving forward."
By moving ahead, Jackman also will have a chance to redeem himself. There's no other way to put it: He struggled as the Los Angeles Kings the eventual Stanley Cup champion snuffed the Blues' season in a sweep in early May. He was a minus-6 with one assist in the stunning series. He looked overwhelmed, and a campaign that included St. Louis' first playoffs appearance in three years came to an abrupt end.
Despite that memory, Jackman has said he's still a top-four defenseman. Now he has a chance to prove it. The Blues showed faith in him by offering a deal that lasts until he's 33 years old. He must show he's worth the commitment in time and money.
"He played well last year, and he's been through a lot of experiences here in St. Louis," Armstrong said. "We need him to be a player first and foremost, and leadership is a secondary thing. We think his five-on-five play is strong against the other team's good players, and we think his penalty-killing is something we wanted to ensure we kept. That, first and foremost, is why he's returning."
True, one of the Blues' offseason unknowns ended Monday with Jackman choosing to renew his career rather than rebuild elsewhere. It's a choice that showed the franchise's faith in him, and the defenseman's faith in his organization.
Now it's Jackman's job to prove his decision was the right one.
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Courtesy: St. Louis Blues
ST. LOUIS St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed Barret Jackman to a three-year contract.
"Barret has been a solid leader for our club, on and off the ice, and were happy to have him in the fold for the next three years," said Armstrong. "Hes a staple of the organization...
The St. Louis Blues signed veteran defenseman Barret Jackman to a three-year contract on Monday.
The 31-year-old Jackman was the Blues' top pick, 17th overall, in the 1999 NHL Draft. While official terms of the deal were not released, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the deal was for $9.5 million.
The signing will make Jackman the longest tenured athlete in St. Louis...
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed Barret Jackman to a three-year contract.
“Barret has been a solid leader for our club, on and off the ice, and we’re happy to have him in the fold for the next three years,” said Armstrong. “He’s a staple of the organization and the community...
Also, he saves puppies (photo credit Animal Protective Association of Missouri).
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'...
St. Louis Blues' defenseman Barret Jackman was expected to be a hot commodity in NHL free agency, but he's not going to make it to the open market. The Blues signed Jackman to a three-year contract Monday, and the deal is expected to be worth at least $9.5 million over the length of the deal. Jackman, 31, was the 17th overall pick in 1999 and has spent his entire career...
The Blues had a good thing going last season.So, naturally, general manager Doug Armstrong is looking to build on that success. While some fans are clamoring for a significant overhaul after the team’s second-round playoff exit, Armstrong is largely staying the course with his team.He re-signed restricted free agent Chris Stewart for another season, giving the power forward another...
The St. Louis Blues have decided to keep Barret Jackman around for three more season after giving the defenseman a new contract. - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Barret Jackman has been with the St. Louis Blues his entire NHL career.
After the Blues gave him a brand new three year, $9.5 million contract on Monday, Jackman will be sticking around a little bit longer.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “We want to find a top-four defenseman,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. “If we could add one player that we feel really comfortable about being in the four, then we really feel good about our group.
“When I view a top-four player, it’s someone that’s a 5-on-5 player obviously and potentially touch both...
Cliches are loved and cherished in hockey, aren't they? So how does the saying go... If it ain't broke, don't fix it? St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong has been iterating that thought process in different words since the Blues playoff run ended a little over a month ago. More recently, he's been turning words in to action. The trend continues today.
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Blink, and you might miss the next pending unrestricted free agent signing with another hockey franchise.
With news breaking on Monday that two more blue line options -- Brad Stuart in San Jose, and Barret Jackman in St. Louis -- are off the board, the pickings in free agency continue to slim.
Bryan Murray's order of finding...