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Blues d-man Jackman pondering his future

Barret Jackman

There’s no guarantee Blues defenseman Barret Jackman will be back for an 11th season with the team that drafted him in 1999. The 31-year-old defensive specialist can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and wherever he plays he wants to know he’ll be a key contributor.

“It’s about where you fit within the team,” Jackman told the Post-Dispatch. “That’s the biggest thing with me going forward, to make sure the Blues aren’t doing me a favor by signing me and I’m not doing something out of a comfort level and signing with the Blues if it’s not something both sides are happy with.”

General manager Doug Armstrong understands where Jackman is coming from.

“He’s earned this opportunity to be a free agent and I certainly respect that,” said Armstrong. “But I hope that we have a chance to sit down and chat about what he believes is important for his family and I hope that correlates with the team.”

Armstrong has to keep an eye on the future when it comes to the payroll. Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk are restricted free agents after next season, and both will require significant raises.

Jackman’s cap hit was $3.625 million last season, and 31-year-olds that log over 20 minutes a game don’t typically take pay cuts.