Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: doug armstrong
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
It just wasn’t supposed to play out like this – not with Hitchcock two wins shy of passing Al Arbour for third-most in NHL history, not without one more shot at a Stanley Cup that has eluded the NHL’s best regular-season team over the last handful of years.
The Blues fired Hitchcock on Wednesday morning following their fifth loss in six games.
Perhaps, it should not have come as a surprise, considering Mike Yeo was hired last summer with the announced and unusual coach-in-waiting title, officially putting a timer on Hitchcock’s tenure in St. Louis.
A coaching change was one of the few cards left for general manager Doug Armstrong to play in an attempt to jolt a Blues team that is hanging in the playoff race by the skin of their teeth.
Armstrong, who choked back tears at a Wednesday press conference, will enter the final year of his contract next June.
“Ken is paying the price for all of our failures, starting with mine,” Armstrong told reporters. “It starts with me as a manager, filters down. I think we’ve let our group become independent contractors. We have to become a team again.
“Whatever mess is here, it’s on me.”
Via NHL.com, St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo spoke with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jesus Ortiz regarding the possibility of Pietrangelo succeeding David Backes as the Blues' next captain:
“Yeah, I would welcome the responsibility,” he said. “I think being so close with Dave over the five years he was captain, I’ve learned a lot from him just kind of sitting back and seeing how he operates on a daily basis. Not only on the ice but off the ice, which is a big part of it trying to keep the locker room together and doing the off-ice stuff.
“He was always trying to help me through that. I think he knew this opportunity might come some day for me. He was always willing to answer my questions, and I was always eager to ask him. So if there is a guy that I was lucky to learn from, it was him. Being such good friends of his made it that much easier.”
Blues GM Doug Armstrong tipped his hand ever-so-slightly as well:
According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, NHL GM's are entering the period in which they must decide whether they're going to buy to "contend" or sell at the trade deadline, which hits on February 29th this year. That's not an easy decision to make given how tight the standings have been and will continue to remain going forward.
The focal points of trade deadline interest remain the following non-Steven Stamkos players:
Winnipeg Jets: All eyes are on captain Andrew Ladd and blueliner Dustin Byfuglien. “I don’t believe they’ll both be there after the deadline,” a league executive said Friday. The talk is the Jets tabled a six-year, $6 million deal to Ladd before the season, and that somehow the deal will get done.
Nobody is quite as optimistic about Byfuglien. He has emerged as one of the best players in the league, is a difference maker, and will cash in on the UFA market in the summer. “He’s just a hell of player,” said the executive.
St. Louis Blues: We’re not talking about a franchise with an ownership group that has deep pockets. GM Doug Armstrong has apparently put talks with centre David Backes on hold and with a $4.5 million cap hit he’s going to want a big raise if he’s going to stay with the Blues.
He could fetch a lot in return but the Blues are a contender in the West and they should be looking to add, not subtract. Teams will call but Armstrong has to tread carefully here.
New York Islanders: The sense is there won’t be any deal involving defenceman Travis Hamonic, who asked for a trade a personal reasons, until the NHL entry draft in June. A league executive said: “Garth Snow isn’t going to make this deal unless he gets good value in return.”
Teams have been calling the Isles about UFA winger Kyle Okposo, and why not? You never know where Snow is concerned, but the 27-year-old has a $2.7 million cap hit. The thinking amongst teams is he won’t be going anywhere because the Islanders are in the race and want to stay there.
Garrioch continues, addressing the Canucks, Lightning and Canadiens' situations.
At an Ice Breaker event today...
Per Sportsnet's John Shannon, Hockey Canada is going for an ecclectic mix of "old and new" to helm Canada's 2016 World Cup team:
St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will lead Canada’s management team for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, reports John Shannon.
Hockey Canada will announce on Monday that Armstrong will serve as GM and have fellow NHL front office personnel Ken Holland, Marc Bergevin and Rob Blake on his staff, according to Shannon.
Holland and Bergevin currently work as GMs for the Red Wings and Canadiens, respectively. Blake is an assistant GM with the Kings.
Army on whether Babcock reports impact Hitchcock's ability to lead the Blues: "Not really. I think the players live in the modern ...
world of social media. When you look over the season, the number of things you read, if 1/10th of that ever came true, I'd be shocked.
I think it's the media's job responsibility to sometimes report the facts and sometimes make stuff up because it's good story."
-via Jeremy Ruthorford tweets.
More from Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the press conference with Armstong and Hitchcock today.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's second-to-last trade column of the pre-deadline season dovetails nicely with Sportsnet's Cox and Friedman's Headlines and the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline's most recent Tweets about the Bruins having interest in Cam Atkinson. So:
Talks have heated up for Arizona defenceman Keith Yandle because teams see the possibility they can have him for two playoff runs before he becomes a UFA. There’s a belief the Detroit Red Wings, who have been looking for a blueliner all year, are making a hard push on Yandle because he fits the bill to what they’re looking at ... Don’t scoff at those rumours about Chicago centre Patrick Sharp being available. Sure, they’ve been denied in the past, but teams are certainly talking about him and there’s a belief the Capitals are the ones pushing the buttons of Hawks’ GM Stan Bowman to see if they can entice him to make a deal. Sharp’s name is out there. A Sharp deal might make sense in the summer, especially with Patrick Kane gone for three months, but if the Hawks are listening they’re going to have plenty of interest. Sharp would be the kind of guy Ottawa GM Bryan Murray would show interest because he fits the bill of what the Senators want in a top-six forward.
St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong is in the category where he’d like to do something before the deadline. It might not be anything major, but the Blues wouldn’t mind adding some forward depth. He made a tour through the New York area last week which had people buzzing. While there are still those who wonder about the club’s goaltending, it appears St. Louis will go into the playoffs with Brian Elliott and give him the chance to prove himself last year after the experiment to get Ryan Miller didn’t work last year. Make no mistake, there’s a lot of pressure and expectations on Armstrong to get past the first round this spring and that’s why the name of centre Patrik Berglund is out there. The issue is he has two years left at $3.7 million and teams aren’t big on term.
Garrioch continues, discussing Curtis Glencross, Atkinson, Erik Cole and the Senators' blueliners...
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brian+elliott, bryan+murray, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, doug+armstrong, keith+yandle, ottawa+senators, patrick+kane, patrick+sharp, phoenix+coyotes, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, stan+bowman
“The general feeling is the identity flows from year to year but the reality is you have to create a new identity every year because you’re bringing in different player. We’ve taken our style of play maybe for granted, but you have to get new players to understand and have the same philosophy. Sometimes that takes a little bit longer. I would say I think our identity has been set now. Now we just have to put it into place on a regular basis.”
-Doug Armstrong, GM of the St. Louis Blues. More on the Blues from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Ultimately, the fans want to win. They don’t care who’s here when we do it, they just want to see the team win. If you’re worried about looking bad, you’re probably never going to have the ultimate success. Until we have it, we deserve all the criticism we get.”
-Doug Armstrong, GM of the St. Louis Blues. More on Armstrong and his theory on trades from Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
This Saturday, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman got six minutes' worth of time to discuss hockey headlines, and they stated that:
- Boston University forward and top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel may or may not bolt from NCAA hockey to join a Canadian Hockey League team, with the Saint John Sea Dogs owning his rights. Cox points out that Charlie Coyle, Adam Tambellini and Sonny Milano have all committed to NCAA teams and then joined CHL teams instead, so it is possible that Eichel may be on the move after he plays for Team USA at the World Junior Championships--and BC goalie Thatcher Demko might also exit stage CHL;
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: boston+bruins, dallas+eakins, doug+armstrong, edmonton+oilers, jack+eichel, james+neal, mike+fisher, nashville+predators, reilly+smith, st.+louis+blues, tj+oshie, torey+krug, toronto+maple+leafs
"I look at it a bit differently in the sense that we're a good team and I get a lot of phone calls because people want our players, and that's a positive. You're always nervous when you're a GM and your phone never rings because that means the opposition doesn't want your players, and that's not a good feeling.
"So, I'm excited about our team. I don't think we're going to be overly active. I like the way the guys are playing. When you look at the (Patrik) Berglund's and the (Alexander) Steen's and (T.J.) Oshie's and these guys, these guys are starting to find their rhythm.
"We're a team that was built in the summer, and with the caveat that if we can improve our team, we'll always look at doing it. But we can't control the rumors and things like that. It's just today's society, with cell phones and the digital age, it's easy to get some traction, but that's just the nature of the beast."
-Doug Armstrong, GM of the St. Louis Blues on trade talk. More from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Tonight Sportsnet showed this segment during their pre-game and although it was probably recorded earlier this week it is still worth the watch especially if you are a Blues or Wings fan.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong and Red Wings GM Ken Holland sit down with George Stroumboulopoulos to talk about the craft of being a general manager.
The Carolina Hurricanes earned their first victory of the 2014-15 season in their 9th game, defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-0 on Saturday, and given their issues, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch kicked off his weekly rumor roundup discussing Ron Francis' challenges in attempting to right his sinking ship before it becomes a McDavid-Eichel lottery team:
With four years left at $7 million per-season, the underachieving Alexander Semin was a healthy scratch against the Arizona (don’t call me Phoenix) Coyotes on Saturday. The Canes would love to deal him but there’s no interest.
Naturally, the name of captain Eric Staal is going to be front and centre in all of this because there are several teams interested, not the least of which is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Defenceman Andrej Sekera, who had 44 points last season and is making $2.75 million, will be highly sought after and will easily find a new home.
Garrioch also reports that the Keith Yandle Trade Rumor Mill is sputtering to life, as it usually does at this time of year...
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexander+semin, andrej+sekera, carolina+hurricanes, don+maloney, doug+armstrong, eric+staal, keith+yandle, phoenix+coyotes, ron+francis, st.+louis+blues, t.j.+oshie, toronto+maple+leafs
Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch transcibed the meeting between GM Doug Armstrong and the media...
Q: How are you going to move forward with the goaltending for next year?
Armstrong: "I'm going to obviously let things settle in here. I'm trying to come up with a good analogy. It's like going to the dentist. The freezing is coming out and now it hurts. I'm going through that freezing coming out and it's really painful. Today is a lot harder than it was yesterday, I know that. We got to figure out a way to get better. With the goaltending, Jake Allen is going to be here next year. He’s earned the right. He’s the top American League goalie. He's got that team in the playoffs, now we're going to see how far he can take it. He will be one of two. Who his partner will be will be discussed at the appropriate time and that will be over the next few weeks. It's a two-way street with Ryan at this time. He has opportunities. I want to sit and talk to him, I want to get his feelings about our organization, how he felt about coming in, where he thinks we're at ... see if he even has any interest being a St. Louis Blue."
(ST. LOUIS) – St. Louis Blues Chairman Tom Stillman announced today that the Blues have named Doug Armstrong President of Hockey Operations and General Manager and Bruce Affleck President of Business Operations. In addition, Affleck was named an Alternate Governor, joining Armstrong in that capacity.
“Having worked closely with Doug and Bruce for the past year, I have been able to observe their skills, dedication, and professionalism first-hand,” said Stillman. “These changes are a strong statement of confidence in their leadership now and into the future.”
from the CP at CBC,
Since every other NHL team had a chance to sign Wellwood and Svatos when the Blues did, was it a faux pas for the Sharks and Predators to then claim them off waivers?
“I think you’re probably better to ask other GMs that right now than me,” said Armstrong. “It’s somewhat frustrating — these other teams have had an opportunity to go do the work and they deemed it not necessary to go out.
“They’ve taken advantage of the situation that’s given them.”
Armstrong says he didn’t receive a call from Sharks GM Doug Wilson before Wellwood was claimed. He did hear from Predators GM David Poile before Svatos was grabbed.
“The teams that are talking (trade) the most are trying to create a market I’m not really sure is there.”
-Blues GM Doug Armstrong via a Hockey News tweet.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Doug Wilson, Ken Holland, Dale Tallon and Doug Armstrong have spent a lot of time in recent years trying to outsmart each other. We’re talking about three NHL general managers — Wilson with the Sharks, Holland with the Red Wings, Tallon with the Blackhawks — and Armstrong, an ex-GM in Dallas who is now part of the Blues’ front office.
No matter. The four of them are heading to Ireland next week, leaving families behind to knock a golf ball around some of that country’s fine courses.
From the St. Louis Blues,
St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has extended the contract of Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Larry Pleau through the 2009-10 season. Davidson also announced the club has named Doug Armstrong as Blues Vice President of Player Personnel. He will assume the General Manager duties beginning in 2010.
“Larry has been very valuable to this organization for many years,” said Davidson. “Under his watch we have locked up our young players with long term deals and continue to stockpile many up and coming prospects. Doug’s accomplishments in Dallas are quite impressive, with two Western Conference titles, two President’s Trophies and a Stanley Cup.
Sources tell TSN Doug Armstrong is about to join the St Louis Blues.
Armstrong was expected to meet the Toronto Maple Leafs this week to discuss a management position in Toronto, however sources say he has cancelled that meeting and the expectation is that his hire in St Louis will be announced tomorrow.
Armstrong will work alongside veteran Blues general manager Larry Pleau for the next two seasons before assuming the manager’s role when Pleau retires.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
But there’s a guy available right now that can do the job and he’s a free agent: Doug Armstrong.
The Leafs fumbled the ball on Bob Gainey more than a decade ago, not they’ve got a chance to hire his protege.
Somewhere along the line, Armstrong’s reputation took a hit in the arena of public perception, probably because he didn’t win a Stanley Cup as GM of the Dallas Stars from 2002 to 2007 and his team struggled in the playoffs in recent years. That’s a major reason why he got fired. Of course, they made the playoffs EVERY year he was GM. Leaf fans take note.
Consider the evidence when assessing Armstrong’s case:
From Mike Heika at The Dallas Morning News,
Co-general managers Les Jackson and Brett Hull say their role is limited in the playoffs and that they haven’t done anything spectacular. They actually credit former GM Doug Armstrong with doing a lot of the work to help create a team that knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in six games in the first round.
Yet, just as it is with the forwards, it’s clear that the change at GM has produced positive results.
“I think there’s definitely a different feel,” said owner Tom Hicks, who fired Armstrong in November and made the highly-criticized move of naming two GMs to run the team. “I just think there was tension between the players and management, and something needed to change. You can feel a more positive attitude.”
From Pierre Lebrun, CP via MetroNews,
“It’s just part of the business. I’m viewing this as a great time to teach them how to respond to adversity. I have to be strong at home and go out and get another job and let them know that when you have a setback and you have to stand up and get back on your feet. That’s what society demands and that’s what we demand of ourselves.”
Armstrong’s deal with the Stars pays him through the 2010-11 season but he doesn’t plan on sitting on the couch. He wants to work.
He’s already been contacted from numerous friends around the league and given his excellent reputation he needn’t worry.
“Someone said when you get let go, because it’s never if but when, just make a list of names of people that called you and that’ll give you a pretty good feeling of what you’ve done,” said Armstrong. “So I’ve got that list and I’m on the third or fourth page now. It means a lot when people around the league reach out to you and show their support.”
From the Dallas Stars,
Dallas Stars Chairman of the Board and Owner Thomas O. Hicks announced today that he has relieved Doug Armstrong from his duties as General Manager of the hockey club.
“As an owner I have to be responsible for one person in Hockey Operations and that is the General Manager of the team,” said Hicks. “I thought that the team needed a change in direction. I know that change can be healthy and it was my determination that this move needed to be made. I want the Dallas Stars to return to being one of the elite teams in the league.