How does Doug Armstrong’s tenure with the St. Louis Blues compare to other NHL general managers?

When comparing St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong to other GMs, it is clear the Blues have one of the best managers in the NHL.  
2019 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability
2019 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

While St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has been criticized for many of his decisions on player and coaching personnel over the years, Armstrong’s record speaks for itself. He is one of the best general managers in the league.

Armstrong has high expectations

Armstrong doesn’t accept losing. The end of this season marks his 14th year as the St. Louis Blues general manager.

His team has only been behind .500 once, in 2022-23, when former head coach Craig Berube recorded a 37-38-7 record. Fans might not agree with Armstrong’s decision to terminate Berube in 2023, but the previous season clearly sparked some concerns for Armstrong.

A common argument is that Berube didn’t have player roster control, so a lot of the fault needed to fall on Armstrong. This may be a fair criticism, but it doesn’t explain Drew Banister’s success, compiling a 30-19-5 record after replacing Berube.

Berube is a great coach and played an instrumental role in winning the Stanley Cup in 2019.

However, using the same standards during the 2019 season, Armstrong saw some concerns about the past two seasons under Berube’s watch.

When former head coach Mike Yeo struggled with a 7-9-3 record, Armstrong pulled the trigger and fired him. He made the same decision firing Berube this past season.

Armstrong’s expectations are high, and he knows the ultimate blame will rest on his shoulders if the Blues don’t win.

Armstrong’s numbers are impressive

In his fourteen years in St. Louis, Armstrong’s Blues have compiled a 601-364-112 record, a .610 win percentage, under Armstrong’s managerial role.

Armstrong has won one Stanley Cup and been named GM of the Year.

He has found himself in the record books, currently sitting at No. 10 with most wins for a general manager. Granted, this is considering his tenure in Dallas. Nevertheless, if his success continues, he could easily be among NHL history’s top five most successful general managers within a few years.

Only two existing general managers remain above him: Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders and Ken Holland of the Edmonton Oilers. Lamoriello is 81 years old, and Holland is 68. Armstrong is 59, accomplishing impressive numbers much younger than the other two active win-leader GMs.

However, Armstrong’s stats are noteworthy in other categories. Among the most “wins” category in single-franchise records, Armstrong sits at No. 17 all-time with 601 victories with the St. Louis Blues.

When you add the playoffs to the total win category, Armstrong rises to No. 13, supporting the idea that he brings a consistent team fighting for playoff contention.

Armstrong knows what he is doing. There have been several decisions in which many fans disagree with his decision-making. However, ownership knows they have a reliable and talented general manager, one that most teams would quickly pursue if given the opportunity.

Armstrong is a winner and has high expectations. There remains little doubt who runs the show in St. Louis. Bannister has the opportunity to succeed; however, if he even remotely struggles, there is little speculation that Armstrong has the judgment to make changes when necessary.