The Anaheim Ducks’ acquisition of Tim Jackman has been billed as a “toughness” move, but what role will Jackman play for a Ducks team already positioned for the NHL Playoffs?
Last week the Anaheim Ducks traded a 6th round pick in exchange for Calgary Flames forward and noted enforcer Tim Jackman. This move was perhaps done as a way of replacing enforcer Brad Staubitz who Anaheim traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with center Peter Holland for Jesse Blacker.
Through 3 games, Jackman has only played 18 minutes of hockey for the Ducks. He sports the lowest time on ice per game stat of any player that has suited up for Anaheim this year with an average of 6 minutes and 5 seconds per game. The only other player with a TOI stat in the single digits was Holland, averaging 9 minutes a game.
With a player like Patrick Maroon already with the club, a player who is noted for his size, physical game, and his ability to chip in the odd goal or assist, why did the Ducks feel the need to acquire a player they barely use and who hasn’t shown himself to be much of an offensive threat?
The question – “Do teams need a physical presence throughout the lineup to win games?” is a fair one. A team needs an intimidation factor, a physical presence, and players throughout the lineup who will stick up for more vulnerable members of the lineup. On the other hand, it seems that in today’s NHL, successful teams need to ice lines that can be a threat at both ends of the ice from the top line to the fourth line. This is part of the reason why George Parros, a fan favorite, saw his time in Anaheim end.
Parros simply wasn’t doing enough on the ice in any area of the game that didn’t involve hockey without the gloves on. And it seems as though Jackman is already following suit, hence the sparse playing time. To Jackman’s credit, he does seem to be trying to be more than just an enforcer, but he isn’t particularly effective at it. If anything Maroon and Matt Beleskey have done Jackman’s job better than he has.
Every time Jackman plays he is just wasting an opportunity for other, more effective wingers to make their contributions on a nightly basis. General manager Bob Murray has made some terrific moves in 2013, like the signing of Dustin Penner and the trade for Mathieu Perreault. Acquiring Jackman is certainly one of his more puzzling moves in recent memory.