Jacques. Photo Courtesy of Steven Christy www.stevenchristyphotography.com
Jean-Francois Jacques. The mere mention of this hyphenated first name causes even the most earnest Oilers fan to shudder. After emerging from injury, JFJ thrust himself into the Barons lineup like a hurricane of misfortune. I’ll admit. I had no idea whom he was. Through four games as a Barons, he looked, well, like a very good American Hockey League player. He also looked healthy, and for the NHL club this meant a call-up of sorts.
I included Jacques in the Barons countdown because he, along with Belle, can be categorized as the first call-up from the farm to the big club. As disconcerting as this sounds, it was rather exciting. A guy, whom I watched play, only five feet away, who had shook my hand, was now playing in the NHL. It was my first connected moment between the Oklahoma City product and the NHL team that they fed in to.
Dubbed the “JFJ” moment in my mind, Jacques showed first hand the value of the feeder system. And whether he rightfully deserves that spot I’m not sure, but for me I’ll always remember him fondly for doing so. Oh, and someone buy the man a surf board. Anaheim is calling.