St. Louis Blues: Three Ways for General Manager Doug Armstrong to Win Doubters Back

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has a proven track record of winning. However, the atmosphere in St. Louis is somber, and Armstrong must work on building the trust of the Blues faithful in order to succeed.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Jeff Vinnick/GettyImages

Undoubtedly, St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is one of the most accomplished GMs in the league.

He is also the only GM in St. Louis Blues history to win a Cup. However, Armstrong's decisions, notably letting some key players leave in free agency and firing Craig Berube, have not impressed every fan.

Yet, there is a legitimate call for patience, as Armstrong is a proven winner. There are steps Armstrong can take to rebuild the trust of those who turned away from him.

Armstrong must make strategic decisions in the offseason to bolster the roster

Jordan Binnington's goaltending forms the team's foundation, with the expectation of unleashing star power through Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou.

Thomas and Kyrou earned an All-Star appearance, but not in the same year.

The hope is they both maximize their full potential moving forward in co-existing years and beyond.

However, Armstrong must also play it safe and consider that he must focus on additional talent around these two players.

Whether through free agency, a shocking trade, or bringing in a young player from developmental play, Armstrong needs to focus on bolstering the team with high-caliber players.

This is much easier said than done, as the 2023-24 Blues looked much different from the past roster led by Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan O'Reilly, and Alex Pietrangelo.

Armstrong is the GM, and he is responsible for ensuring a quality, competitive roster for the 2024-25 season hits the ice.

The fans need stability

While some fans might appreciate the eagerness to win and accept nothing less than a .500 standing, Armstrong is simply a bit of a loose cannon when evaluating his managerial past to fire head coaches.

Drew Bannister has a two-year contract, which is not exactly a boost of confidence. This is an issue.

How can a coach win with a limited contract and the knowledge that the three previous coaches were fired during regular season play?

Armstrong has every right to expect great things from his coaches, but he should also seek to build lasting relationships and honor stability within the coaching ranks.

It's too late to fix the problems of the past, but Armstrong needs to build stability within the coaching staff.

Fans need stability, not just within roster control, but knowing who will coach the team.

Every leader has their own philosophy and game plan. Bannister deserves the shot to succeed, and letting him build his team around his preferred players is a must.

Some leaders are irreplaceable

Armstrong is a numbers guy. That's literally his job. He evaluates contracts and statistics.

However, leadership and unification are often not found in numbers.

While Armstrong is not solely to blame for every star player's departure within the last several years, he played a role.

There is no bringing back the likes of Pietrangelo, O'Reilly, and company.

But bringing in beloved players like David Perron could certainly help.

It doesn't have to be Perron, but Armstrong must realize that some leaders are irreplaceable. Leadership is an undervalued skill that the current roster needs.

If Brayden Schenn or Colton Parayko continue to develop into forceful leaders, the organization must commit to keeping them for the years to come.

Armstrong is a great GM who has made incredible contributions to the St. Louis Blues over the years.

There is little doubt his success will continue, but he must win over those who lost faith in him. The offseason is officially in his hands soon. I will be excited to see what he does.