Blues choose ‘continuity,’ extend GM Armstrong

NHL News

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues signed longtime president of hockey operations and general manager Doug Armstrong to a five-year contract extension Saturday.

Armstrong, 57, was named the organization’s 11th general manager after the 2009-10 season after joining the Blues as assistant general manager in 2008.

“When I look back on my career starting in Minnesota then we transferred to Dallas, I’ve been with two organizations,” Armstrong said. “I’m not big into change in that fashion so being here another five years is exciting.”

The Blues have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in nine of Armstrong’s 11 seasons at the helm winning three central division titles and the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2019, defeating the Boston Bruins in a seven-game series.

“I think it’s important to have continuity,” Armstrong said. “In an industry where change is inevitable you have to make the decision, but they’re all based on trying to do it in a professional way that the players accept and understand that. I think continuity is at the foundation of that.”

The Blues struggled for portions of the shortened 2020-21 season but rallied to make the postseason, losing to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round.

“You don’t want to be changing horses and changing strategies very often,” Blues owner Tom Stillman said. “You bring a new person in, different view, maybe we should go this direction. Then all the things that you have done to build what you have and set in motion for the future, maybe it doesn’t work as well. I think it’s a big advantage.”

Armstrong served as the Dallas Stars‘ general manager from 2002 to 2008. He previously had spent nine seasons as the Stars’ assistant general manager and was under general manager Bob Gainey when Dallas won the Stanley Cup in 1999.

The Blues also announced the acquisition of forward Logan Brown and an undisclosed conditional draft pick from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Zach Sanford.

“It was something that was made out of necessity, not out of desire,” Armstrong said. “It’s as much having to get cap compliant, and in doing that we wanted to bring back a player that we saw upside in.”

Brown, 23, is a St. Louis native and son of former Blues all-star defenseman Jeff Brown. He has one goal and eight assists in 30 career NHL games. He was drafted 11th overall by Ottawa in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Sanford, 26, had 71 points on 36 goals and 35 assists in 183 regular season games with St. Louis since being acquired from Washington in 2017 and scored in game seven of the Blues’ Stanley Cup Final win over the Bruins.

Of course, trade speculation continues to buzz around the Blues with regards to a more high-profile player, Vladimir Tarasenko. The star winger is in training camp with the club and has maintained that he doesn’t want to be a distraction, despite a lingering trade request from the offseason.

The Blues opened the preseason on Saturday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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