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Summing Up Jackman's Career with the St. Louis Blues

Not too many players play for 12 consecutive seasons in the NHL. Even fewer play for only one team.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I am an agnostic when it comes to the St. Louis Blues' decision to not resign Barret Jackman for next season.  I would love to see him stay in the Bluenote and finish his career in St. Louis.  He has his role and as long as Hitchcock knows how to use Jax properly on the ice, he could be an asset to the team.  But I also understand that the Blues' front office feels like they need more speed (i.e. youth) and some changes have to be made in the roster to provide cap space and room for developing players to move up into the NHL.

With that being said, this isn't an attempt to try to say the Blues decision was good or bad -- it just is -- and I wanted to take a retrospective look at Jax's fancystats during his tenure with the Blues.  If you haven't already, I strongly encourage you to read this great retrospective on Jax from Average Joe.

Twelve Seasons

The data I am using comes from War-On-Ice.  It is a list of all defensemen who played in the NHL from the 2002-2003 season (first season Jackman played in the NHL) through the 2014-2015 season.  Of all those defensemen who have played during that time period, only 23 of them have played all 12 seasons along with Jackman.  Out of all 24 of those players, Jackman was only one of three players who have played exclusively for one team during that time.  Amongst these "12 season defensemen" Jackman has ended up in the middle of the pack in total time on ice, number of games played, and time on ice per game during these past 12 seasons.  This is about where most reasonable hockey fans would expect Jackman to be.

Jackman's On-Ice Usage

Jackman has spent a large part of his career in the shut down quadrant of the player usage chart (innovated by Rob Vollman).  However, the past few seasons, Jackman started to see diminishing ice time and more sheltered minutes.  His one ice time was against lesser competition while still having the majority of his starts in the defensive zone.  He held his own in this role these past few seasons by exhibiting positive possession numbers during this time.

Jax Versus His Peers

I also wanted to compare Jackman to his on-ice peers during this time period.  In order to do this, I calculated Jackman's average time one ice per game for all 12 seasons he played.  I then included all the players who roughly had the same average time on ice per game during the course of the last 12 seasons.  [For the stats geeks out there, I basically calculated the standard deviation of Jackman's time on ice across all 12 seasons and then included all players that fell within +1 and -1 standard deviation of Jackman's average.  This worked out to be a range of 14-17 minutes per game.]

I compare Jackman against his peers in two different ways.  The first I compare him by age against the average of NHL players of the same age.  If you are interested in how age impacts defensive players in the NHL you should check out Eric Tulsky's article here.  The second way I compare Jax to his peer's is looking at both the team and league averages for his peer group during his 12 seasons with the Blues.

In the dataviz below you can chose the stat you wish to view and then see how Jackman compared against his peers at a given age and also in a given season.

It is going to be weird not seeing Jackman wear the Bluenote next season.  I wish him luck where ever he ends up.  As long as that luck doesn't result in him winning the Cup before the Blues.