Barret Jackman Signs a New Three-Year Contract
The St. Louis Blues have decided to retain Barret Jackman’s services by giving the defenseman a new three-year deal worth a reported $9.5 million. Jackman has stressed his interest in returning to the club but it was unclear whether the team wanted to keep their veteran defenseman or let him walk in favor of pursuing new options. Today the team made it official that Jackman’s experience would again be patrolling the blue line for the Blues not only in 2012-13, but also in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
This deal makes a lot of sense for both sides. Jackman has stated that St. Louis is his home and that he would like to, if at all possible, continue playing for the Blues. Jackman, 31, has spent all 10 of his seasons in the NHL with the Blues and he wanted that streak to continue in an effort to finally bring a Cup to St. Louis.
For the Blues, this deal makes sense as they know what to expect from Jackman. Also, other options at defense might cost a bit more money if the Blues were to pursue such an option through free agency. Defense rarely comes cheap. If the Blues were to land a different option there are always questions over how a new face will perform in a new city. With Jackman, the Blues got a reliable option (though some fans may senselessly argue this point) for a fair price.
Jackman’s contract will pay him $3 million in 2012-13 and $3.25 million in both 2013-14 and 2014-15. He will have an average cap hit of $3,166,667. Realistically, Jackman’s price is a good one for the Blues. It’s highly likely Jackman could have sought a higher price if he had desired or if he had tested the open market. Here it looks like Jackman really did take a bit less cash in order to play for the city he loves.
Now that Jackman has a new deal, the picture at defense is starting to take shape. Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, Cole, Polak, Russell and (obviously) Jackman are all under contract for 2012-13. Carlo Colaiacovo and Kent Huskins both are set to be free agents. At this time it seems like both Colaiacovo and Huskins will be on new teams in 2012-13.
With six defensemen in the mix, the Blues will likely try to go out and secure one more d-man. In the past they have made it known they’d like a new face to skate with Kevin Shattenkirk. It’s unclear who this might be but the answer will likely come through free agency or through a trade. The Blues aren’t in a position to be a big spender so they might be forced to pull the trigger on a trade if they aren’t content with the middle tier, cheaper options.