St. Louis Blues Doug Armstrong Not Going Anywhere For Now

St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug ArmstrongMandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug ArmstrongMandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is one of the best GM’s in all of sports. Plenty of fans might disagree with that, but they’re all grass is greener on the other side type of people.

The bottom line is that Armstrong constructs teams that are continually capable of making the playoffs and potentially contending for championships. No, they’re never the most dominant, but that also means he’s reshaping the team well enough that you never have to completely start over either.

Armstrong joined the Blues in 2008 and officially became the GM in 2010. In that time, St. Louis has only missed the playoffs four times and also won the Stanley Cup for the first and only time in franchise history.

Somewhat surprisingly, during that whole time there has rarely been any mention of Armstrong leaving. Of course, you tend to get the whole fire the GM crowd now and then, but despite his success, there was not a lot of rumors of him heading elsewhere.

Despite missing the playoffs in the 2022-23 season, the 2023 offseason was the first time in recent memory that Army was linked with another team. Several rumors had him linked with the open Toronto Maple Leafs position.

The aforementioned analysts that linked Armstrong to Toronto were not slouches either. James Mirtle of The Athletic and Elliotte Friedman are reasonably connected.

Both of them were putting out their opinion as opposed to reporting on something they heard, but it still felt like where there’s smoke there’s fire. When asked on the record about the reports, Armstrong declined comment. That could have meant anything, but it certainly felt like he might have been entertaining the idea or had actually been approached.

Well, for now at least, those on Armstrong’s bandwagon can breathe a sigh of relief and those that wanted him gone can start shaking their fists at the sky. Armstrong is not going to Toronto and, surely, isn’t going anywhere right now.

The Maple Leafs have hired former Calgary Flames general manger, Brad Trevliving. Interestingly, according to the ESPN article, the only official other name listed was Marc Bergevin. If true, that seems to indicate that the Leafs were only interested in guys who had been general managers in Canada.

Whatever the case might be, it’s slightly odd since Trevliving’s teams didn’t have a ton of playoff success and that’s what’s wrong with the Leafs. No matter. Their gain is the Blues gain.

St. Louis is better off with Armstrong at the helm. He has made mistakes with some of his contracts, but in the larger sense, he has had a lot more hits than he has misses.

He’s been good at drafting even though the Blues rarely had high picks. St. Louis doesn’t win the Cup without Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo and all were Armstrong draftees.

The Blues have the 10th pick in the 2023 draft, their highest selection in a long time, as well as several other picks in this particular draft. I wouldn’t want anyone else in charge of that draft than Army, even if he deals away every pick for one current player.

He’s not a perfect GM, but that doesn’t exist. Fans that whine about his lack of movement at trade deadlines often don’t understand how trades actually work. It’s not as simple as it seems on video games.

Armstrong definitely has his work cut out for him this offseason. He has a lot of improvements to make with not a lot of cap space to do it with.

Armstrong often manages to work some magic and turn things around more than we think possible. While everyone was excited about the offseason additions, most did not expect a championship after the 2018 offseason.

Perhaps he can do something similar in 2023. The Dallas Stars are proof that you don’t need a complete overhaul if you get players simply staying healthy and playing up to their capabilities.

I recognize that there are some probably wanting a fresh viewpoint and voice in the GM’s office. Personally, I’m grateful that Toronto looked elsewhere and Armstrong will be staying in the blue and yellow…at least until the next team comes calling.