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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. 


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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 66 41 18 7 196 162 89
3 STL 64 40 19 5 198 162 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 MIN 64 35 22 7 181 164 77
6 VAN 64 36 24 4 184 176 76
7 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
8 CGY 64 35 25 4 182 165 74
9 LAK 64 31 21 12 175 167 74
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 DAL 65 29 26 10 203 215 68
12 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
13 ARI 65 21 37 7 142 220 49
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 64 31 31 27 62
A. Steen 62 19 32 3 51
J. Schwartz 57 21 27 14 48
T. Oshie 56 17 27 8 44
D. Backes 63 21 22 1 43
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
P. Stastny 56 12 25 10 37
J. Lehtera 57 9 24 14 33
A. Pietrangelo 64 6 27 -5 33
P. Berglund 60 8 12 -2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 20 10 2 .922 2.19
J. Allen 17 6 3 .903 2.55

 
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