Armstrong Takes Over as Blues GM

Larry Pleau steps aside after 13 years as Blues General Manager

Thursday, 07.01.2010 / 9:05 AM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
   
Doug Armstrong takes over as the Blues' General Manager after serving as the Vice President of Player Personnel for the last two seasons (Getty Images).

  Recent Deals: Halak | Hensick | Sobotka
  Audio: Doug Armstrong At the Draft
  Biography: Armstrong's Background
If the last three weeks are any indication, it's a good bet that Doug Armstrong will bring an aggressive style to the Blues' front office as its Executive Vice President and General Manager.

First, he helped orchestrate a deal that sent prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz to Montreal for Jaroslav Halak, a goaltender that helped the eighth-seeded Canadiens defeat the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs this past season.

Next, Armstrong snagged prospect T.J. Hensick, a 24-year-old forward with 99 games of NHL experience, from Colorado for minor-league forward Julian Talbot. He also traded defensive prospects David Rundblad and David Warsofsky at the 2010 NHL Draft, acquiring an additional first round pick (Vladimir Tarasenko) and Boston center Vladimir Sobotka, respectively. He also found a new goaltending coach in veteran NHLer Corey Hirsch.

And he did all of this before actually sitting in the GM's chair previously occupied by Larry Pleau for 13 NHL seasons.

"I think in the last two or three weeks, we've solidified our goalie position. Our goaltender now is 25 years old, he's in that age group to grow with the players we have now," Armstrong said. "I think adding Sobotka helps solidify our forward group as he's another young player that has a lot of energy and plays with passion and is a hard player. He's going to fit in with the group that we have.

"We think we're improving, but at the end of the season, our improvement is going to come from our players maturing and getting better."

On July 1, Armstrong officially takes his new seat in the General Manager's office on the corner of 14th and Clark Avenue. It's a cozy spot with a nice view, but it comes with plenty of responsibility.

Serving as a general manager is nothing new for Armstrong. He's spent the last two years getting to know the Blues and its prospects as the team's Vice President of Player Personnel. Before that, he spent 17 years with the Dallas Stars and six as their general manager. He won two Pacific Division Championships and helped lead the team to two President's Trophies, two Western Conference titles and a Stanley Cup Championship in 1999.

Internationally, Armstrong helped Team Canada claim a Gold Medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He also served as the General Manager for Team Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Championships, winning a silver medal..

Armstrong and Steve Yzerman are currently the only two general managers in the NHL that have been on staff for a Stanley Cup championship, an Olympic Gold Medal and a World Championship gold medal.

But back in St. Louis, there's plenty of work to be done. The Blues have 11 restricted free agents, including Jaroslav Halak, Alex Steen, Erik Johnson and David Perron, to name a few.

He also must make decisions regarding the club's unrestricted free agents, such as Paul Kariya, Chris Mason, Brad Winchester, Mike Weaver and Carlo Colaiacovo, who hit the open market at 11 a.m. on July 1.

Armstrong's ascension to the GM office means Pleau wrapped up his final day there on Wednesday.

"It's kind of sad, there's no doubt about it...because you've been there for a long time," Pleau told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's going to give me a lot more time with (my wife) Wendy. I've got no complaints. Thirteen years here, it was a great run.

"The key thing is, the Blues are going to have a heck of a general manager for a long time."

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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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