Barret Jackman Retires from NHL After Signing One Day Contract with St Louis BLues
Barret Jackman announced his retirement from the National Hockey League on Tuesday during a press conference at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jackman, who spent the majority of his 14-year career with the St. Louis Blues, was given the opportunity to sign a one-day contract before the press conference so that he would be able to officially retire as a member of the Blues.
During the press conference he said, “For me, I grew up wearing the Blue Note. I came into the league at 18, got drafted, threw that jersey on and moved from Canada down to St. Louis. I met my wife, had my kids, and I did all that with the Blue Note on.”
Jackman played all but 73 games throughout his NHL career with the Blues. He ranks second in All-Time games played for the Blues, with 803, only Bernie Federko (927) has laced them up more times in franchise history.
Jackman was drafted 17th overall by the Blues in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, in Boston, Massachusetts.
He said, “I remember sitting in the stands and knowing I had a few interviews with different teams the day before. The Blues were one of them. Going into draft day, you do not know what number you will be picked or where you will be going, but you are just excited you get to go to an NHL training camp. When my name was called for the Blues, I was thrilled, but was more focused on walking down the stairs without falling.”
In his rookie season, he was able to become the first, and only, Blues player to win the Calder Trophy, as Rookie of the Year, after racking up 19 points, 190 penalty minutes and a plus-23 rating.
Al MacInnis, who happened to be Jackman’s defensive partner during the 2002-2003 NHL season said, “It was nice to see Jax win that Calder Trophy, because those types of players never seem to get the recognition they deserve.”
MacInnis added, “I can still remember his first game. It was in Detroit when we called him up in the playoffs. His first game in the National Hockey League, he looked like he was in the league for five or six years. That is the kind of poise and composure he showed.”
Former teammate, Chris Pronger said, “Every team has a heart-and-soul type of guy, someone that wears their heart on their sleeve and does what is best for the team, sacrifices his body. Jax was that guy in St. Louis for a long time.”
He added, “It is not easy a lot of times, and those are the things that go unnoticed. Those are the intangibles that do not end up on the score sheet. You have to watch someone like Jax night in and night out to appreciate what he does for the team.”
In his final seven seasons in St. Louis, he put up a plus-46 rating, which tied him for 21st amongst defensemen in the league during that time frame. He also is one of only 15 defensemen to record at least 500 hits and 700 blocked shots through that span.
Current Blues captain, Alex Pietrangelo said, “He has been a leader ever since I have known him. Jax is a good friend to a lot of us, and he helped me a lot when I was coming up. Speaking for myself and a lot of the guys [in this dressing room,] we owe a lot to him. We were really privileged to have played with him and to have had him take us under his wing.”
He added, “He had an unbelievable career and not only that, he dedicated his whole career and life to the city of St. Louis. What he has given back is absolutely tremendous.”
Up until he signed with the Nashville Predators during summer of 2015, he had been the longest tenured athlete in the “Gateway City.” That helped to make him of the most recognized names throughout the St. Louis community.
In his 14 years in St. Louis, he has supported many charitable organizations. Some of those groups include, The Dream Factory, which grants wishes and vacations to children with serious illnesses, The Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments and Stray Rescue of St. Louis.
Jackman said that the last 14 years went by fast and were “a whirlwind and an amazing journey.” One that has led him, his wife, Jenny, a St. Louis native and son, Cayden and daughter, Makena, back home.
He added, “Just being out in public, you are out for dinner, or taking your kids to school or different events around St. Louis, the fans come up and say they enjoyed watching you play. That they know you played hard and played the game the right way. I took a lot of pride in that. Guys like Bobby and Barc Plager, and Kelly Chase, they may not be all-stars, but every time they were on the ice, whether it was for two minutes or 20, they were not cutting any corners and they were playing every shift like it was their last. That was what I tried to do.”
He went on to say, “I look forward to, many more years in St. Louis, making this my home and being a part of the Blues Alumni. I feel very honored to be a Blue.”
The team will honor Jackman at the Scottrade Center, when they take on the Detroit Red Wings on October 27. Tickets are still available at www.ticketmaster.com or www.stlouisblues.com.