Jackman's Season Likely Over

ESPN.com reports that, “Defenseman Barret Jackman is expected to miss the rest of the season due to a dislocated left shoulder. Jackman, the Calder Trophy winner last season as the NHL’s top rookie, reinjured his shoulder in the first period of a 1-all tie with Minnesota on Jan. 5. An MRI exam Jan. 7 revealed the extent of the injury. Jackman was first hurt on a check by Todd Bertuzzi of the Canucks on Oct. 22. It’s the second long-term loss to the Blues’ defense this season. Al MacInnis is out indefinitely with a detached retina and may retire.”I heard about this from John Davidson watching the Rangers game and it worries me… for the Blues’ sake. With Jackman and MacInnis gone, they don’t just lose two major keys defensively, they also lose two key parts of the offence.

Let’s face it, their point men are so talented (the two injured ones and Chris Pronger) that their set-up offence, and especially their power-play, is dependant on not just good defenseman, but All-Star calibre ones. If St. Louis wants to remain a serious Stanley Cup contender, they should be looking into a few defensemen. These are some they should show interest in:

Sergei Gonchar: The best offensive-defenseman in the league. While he isn’t as defensively responsible as Jackman or MacInnis (he frankly gives Tom Poti a run for least defensive defenseman), he solves the power-play problems and will produce 60 point seasons from the point, even in this low-scoring NHL.

Sergei Zubov: Always trust the weight of experience, and two Stanley Cup rings and three Finals appearances show his credibility. He may be the best tape-to-tape passer in the NHL… and can you imagine him hitting Pavol Demitra with homerun passes? This would only happen if Dallas finds themselves out of the playoff picture, so don’t count on it.

Brian Leetch: This move is probably the slimmest possibility, but if the Rangers collapse again, they owe it to Leetchie to let him get into the playoffs again. The Conn Smythe winner in 1994 knows how to win and is still a Top-Ten defenseman in the NHL.

Eric Brewer: He wants out of Edmonton, and there is a key asset he has over the above D-men; youth. He’s talented at both ends and can lead. Besides, can you imagine him and Jackman together for the next ten years (with Pronger for most of them)? Yeah, I’d be scared to play them too. Also, remember Jason Smith is on the trading block too.

Tom Poti: COULD be worth the risk because of his good passing and offensive prowess, but the towel boy probably throws the body around more than Poti… and probably plays better defensively. He could find his way there, but if he’s going to be dealt, Boston is the likely place.

Well, that’s all I got. Hopefully for the Blues, no one else goes down, because it could unfortunately cost Joe Quennville his job.


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