Longtime Blues defenseman Barret Jackman won't be re-signed

Longtime Blues defenseman Barret Jackman won't be re-signed

Beginning next season, the city of St. Louis will have a new longest-tenured professional athlete with the news that pending unrestricted free agent Barret Jackman will not be re-signed, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The St. Louis Blues told the 17th pick of the 1999 NHL Draft that they would be going in a “different direction,” a.k.a. “younger” beginning next season. The 34-year old Jackman played 803 games over 13 seasons with St. Louis, compiling 28 goals and 181 points and winning the Calder Trophy in 2003, beating out Rick Nash and Henrik Zetterberg.

Speaking to the Post-Dispatch in April, Jackman said despite an uncertain future he wasn’t ready to call it quits just yet:

“I have lots left in me,” he said in April. “I don’t know, four or five years. I take care of myself away from the rink. The body’s the best it’s felt in years. This is actually the best I’ve felt in years health-wise. I don’t see myself as a 40-year-old playing the game, but I’m still only 34 and feel like I’ve got lots left. I’ll continue playing.”

After the Blues were eliminated by the Minnesota Wild in Round 1, Jackman said he had a feeling it was the last time he’d be wearing the jersey. His ice time has dropped from 20:41 per game in 2011-12 down to 16:49 per game this season.

With Jackman not returning, GM Doug Armstrong will focus on making his blueline younger, starting with 26-year old restricted free agent Robert Bortuzzo. Factor in that signing along with new deals for Vladimir Tarasenko and Jake Allen and there would be little room left to bring back the veteran defenseman.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!