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Armstrong Happy for Opportunity

Wednesday, 09.16.2009 / 11:33 AM / St Louis Blues - Features
By NHL .com  - Correspondents
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Armstrong Happy for Opportunity
In his first preseason appearance with the Blues, Derek Armstrong had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (1 goal, 1 assist, 1 fight).
At age 36, forward Derek Armstrong is at the stage where he can start appreciating some of the more refined things in life.

Classical music is not among them. The symphony tune you hear when his cell phone rings is more nuisance than preference.

"I don't know how to change it. I'm too old to change it around," he said. "It was on the phone when I got it. I'm 36, man. The young guys on the team have to teach me to (get rid of it)."

If Armstrong plays with Peoria this season, those life lessons likely will flow both ways.

The veteran of 471 NHL games has signed a two-way deal with St. Louis, his first such contract since the start of this decade with the New York Rangers and Hartford. He's seen regular action with the Kings the last several years, producing 5 goals and 4 assists in 56 games for Los Angeles in 2008-09.

Armstrong was a dominant AHL player during his era. In 318 career AHL games, he posted 338 points, won the Calder Cup with Hartford in 1999-2000 and earned league MVP honors in 2000-01. But, save for two games with Manchester in 2002-03, he hasn't skated in the AHL since then.

Armstrong hopes a re-connection with Blues coach Andy Murray helps him pull a career U-turn and keeps him an AHL stranger a little longer. Murray coached Armstrong in Los Angeles.

"I'm young at heart," Armstrong said. "It is tough (in the marketplace). If I go to Peoria, I go to Peoria. I don't play for the money. I'm a hockey player. My ability is still there. I can play a first-line center. I can fight. The economy is tough right now. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity (to play) I've had for a long time."

Armstrong's chance this season will come with fewer peripheral perks than he's enjoyed in the past. The Wolf Pack team that won the Calder Cup was a rollicking group, one that captured national attention to the extent that it filmed a shaving commercial. In Los Angeles, Armstrong skated on the fringe of the entertainment scene by appearing on several outlets ranging from Carson Daly's TV show to "The Price is Right."

"That stuff was fun," Armstrong said. "I just like hockey. Whatever comes with that comes with that. I just did that stuff because I'm not shy around people."

You think? Even when Armstrong is not actually available, he still leaves them laughing. He's learned enough about his cell phone to record his own personal voice-mail message. It's him crooning the lyrics "I am Arm man, leave a message at the beep," to the heavy Black Sabbath classic, "Iron Man."

"I just like to sing," he said. 


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Steen 68 33 29 17 62
T. Oshie 79 21 39 19 60
D. Backes 74 27 30 14 57
J. Schwartz 80 25 31 28 56
A. Pietrangelo 81 8 43 20 51
K. Shattenkirk 81 10 35 1 45
V. Tarasenko 64 21 22 20 43
D. Roy 75 9 28 -1 37
J. Bouwmeester 82 4 33 26 37
V. Sobotka 61 9 24 14 33
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 18 6 2 .922 1.96
R. Miller 25 30 4 .918 2.64

 
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