St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has had plenty of hits in recent years. One deal has not quite worked out yet, though.
Whether you love him or hate him, there is little doubt that St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong may go down as the best GM the team has ever had. It is hard to doubt the guy that built the team to finally win a Stanley Cup in St. Louis.
No man or woman is perfect in any job. Armstrong has made mistakes along the way, most notably with contract extensions proving he valued players already in the system more than they were actually worth.
However, from a trade standpoint, there have been very few (if any) misses on Armstrong’s watch. You will get a vocal minority pointing to the Justin Faulk deal, but that’s still so new that people need to shut up and let it work itself out.
That said, there is one trade that Armstrong made that really did nothing for the team. That trade occurred on February 26, 2018.
The Blues traded away their top center at the time, Paul Stastny, to the Winnipeg Jets. The Blues got Winnipeg’s first round pick in 2018, a fourth round pick in 2020 and Erik Foley.
At the time, the trade was rationalized by both fans and the GM in that the Blues were not going anywhere at the time. Even though they barely missed the playoffs due to a loss in the final game of the year, there were a lot of internal struggles that were showing on the ice.
The trade of Stastny was done to send a message. It was also likely due to negotiations on a contract extension not going anywhere.
Unfortunately for the Blues, the deal has not worked out. It should be said it didn’t work out for Winnipeg since Stastny bolted for Vegas in free agency, but the Jets have not really lost anything.
Foley was a decent prospect who garnered a little bit of excitement. Unfortunately, concussion symptoms and injury problems have plagued Foley and he has never suited up in an NHL game for the Blues. By now, Foley has not suited up in anything but a preseason game for two full seasons.
The 2020 draft has yet to happen, so maybe the Blues find a diamond in the rough. Still, with the pick being in the fourth round, it would be smart not to hold your breath on that one.
Then there is the 2018 pick. Fans had reasonable hopes for that one.
St. Louis used that pick to select Dominik Bokk out of Germany. Again, the Blues never got a good look at him.
Bokk stayed in the Swedish league the last two seasons and 11 goals was his best total. He was always considered a project, but showed enough during some of the prospect camps to get people thinking he could make it in North America.
As far as Blues fans were concerned, that ended when Bokk was included with Joel Edmundson in a trade for Justin Faulk. Turning an unknown prospect into an All-Star player would normally be a great thing.
However, the Blues have still not seen any fruit come from the Stastny trade even in that respect. Even though acquiring Faulk is a hockey version of three degrees of Kevin Bacon, the Blues have not gotten results.
While I believe Faulk will turn it around in the future, he has been somewhat of a bust so far. Faulk set career lows in goals and points as well as several poor defensive categories in his first season with the Blues.
The one way the Blues have won this deal is it allowed them to re-sign a player like Brayden Schenn. Schenn has put up better numbers than Stastny the last two years and is going to be getting paid the same amount.
Nevertheless, based on the trade itself, you can’t say the Blues really got anything out of it thus far. The best case scenario is Faulk finds his form and you can at least say they turned Bokk into Faulk.
Doug Armstrong still has a heck of a batting average. He’s just not hitting 1.000.