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Armstrong Happy for Opportunity

Wednesday, 09.16.2009 / 10:33 AM CT / 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 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 77 37 36 27 73
A. Steen 74 24 40 8 64
J. Schwartz 75 28 35 13 63
D. Backes 80 26 32 7 58
T. Oshie 72 19 36 17 55
P. Stastny 74 16 30 5 46
A. Pietrangelo 81 7 39 -2 46
J. Lehtera 75 14 30 21 44
K. Shattenkirk 56 8 36 19 44
P. Berglund 77 12 15 -2 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 26 14 3 .917 2.26
J. Allen 22 7 4 .913 2.28

 
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