When the Blues acquired Cam Janssen from the Devils in February of 2008, everyone in St. Louis knew what was going on: The Blues, who were well on their way to finishing fourth from the bottom of the entire league, were trading away a defenseman they didn't want to pay (Bryce Salvador) and in return were grabbing a guy they were certain would become a fan favorite and public relations tool.
Janssen, who grew up in Eureka and claims St. Louis as his home town, was a player who would bring the fans out of their seats with his fights, would definitely revel in being part of off-ice fan interaction and would be a good citizen in the locker room. For a team that could use all of the good fan will it could muster, Janssen was a cheap way to do so.
In his three-plus seasons here, Janssen played in 165 games, tallied just two goals and nine points and averaged under five minutes of icetime per game. He did, however, brawl like a motherfucker. He fought 61 times in the Bluenote, protecting his teammates or riling up the home crowd or sending a message to the other teams.
Cam may not have been much of an offensive threat for the Blues, but you can't say he didn't give everything he had for them.
Janssen was not offered a contract extension this summer by the team and today he signed a one year, two-way deal with the New Jersey Devils.
It's a good sign for Blues fans that the roster doesn't have room for a player like Cam anymore, but that doesn't mean that we can't pay respects for what he did while he was here. Here are a few reminders of Cam's best days in Blue.
Cam was an undersized fighter, so he usually tried to extend the fights and wear out his opponent before unleashing the fury. Often he took a lot of abuse and had to wave off linesmen who wanted to break up the fight prematurely:
Although, when the opponent was the same size as Cam, he'd usually take a different tack:
A true St. Louis kid, Cam seemed to relish going with Blackhawks:
And Red Wings:
And the kid has guts. Here is 6'0, 215 lb Janssen going toe-to-toe with 6'8, 258 lb John Scott.
Fearless, man, absolutely fearless to go into a fight you know you're going to lose and might actually get killed in:
But, man, oh, man, did Janssen love playing for the Blues. Here he is celebrating a win:
Cam's time with the Blues may be over, and that's probably a good sign for the competitive makeup of the team, but thanks for the memories, Cam, and best of luck in New Jersey.
Cam Janssen: Teammate, Warrior, Blue