The Arizona Coyotes have hired former St. Louis Blues assistant general manager Bill Armstrong to be their new full-time general manager. He takes over from interim general manager Steve Sullivan, effective immediately.
It’s official.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) September 17, 2020
Welcome to the desert, GM Armstrong. 🌵https://t.co/udMrBPJ9FV
Armstrong had been with the Blues organization since 2004 when he joined the team as an amateur scout. In August of 2010, he was promoted to the director of amateur scouting, a position he held until his departure from the organization. He was also given the role of assistant general manager for the team in 2018.
It is fair to say that Armstrong was a key architect in building the roster that captured the Stanley Cup in 2019. During his time as a scout, he was given credit for the Blues drafting David Perron (later traded and then reacquired) and Jake Allen. His time as director of amateur scouting saw the Blues find gems like Jordan Binnington and Colton Parayko in the 3rd round. Prospect Tage Thompson became a component in the trade to acquire Ryan O’Reilly.
Vince Dunn and Robert Thomas continue to grow into highly effective NHL players. Touted prospects Scott Perunovich and Jordan Kyrou look to be potential future contributors down the road. The past, present and future of the Blues has Armstrong’s fingerprints all over it. They’ve only missed the playoffs twice since 2010 and have every reason to expect to continue to be successful.
Armstrong inherits an Arizona team that does not have a pick until the 4th round in 2020 and is without a 1st or 3rd round pick in 2021. He also joins the franchise at a time when there are rumors circulating of organizational financial distress. Further complicating the situation is the fact that the Coyotes find themselves up against the salary cap with only $1.116 million in projected cap space. It is not an ideal situation for any general manager to step into, let alone a first time one. Armstrong does not have long to get his ducks in a row, though, as the NHL Draft is only three weeks away. Without question, the future success of the Coyotes and their new general manager is going to be at the mercy of Armstrong’s ability to hit the ground running and make wise, timely decisions in a very short span of time.
Jack Dawkins is a freelance scout, analyst and avid watcher of “way too much hockey.” He has joined The Hockey Writers team to cover all things Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers. He’s an absolute data hound and loves using stats and analytics to calculate and extrapolate data for analysis.