Feldman: Armstrong provides continuity, proven track record

Feldman: Armstrong provides continuity, proven track record

Credit: UPI

St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong smiles as he talks with reporters after it was announced Armstrong has been signed to a five-year contract extention, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on January 16, 2013. Armstrong, who was named the NHL's 2012 General Manager of the Year, is the 11th General Manager in Blues' history and guided the 2011-12 team to its first Central Division title since 2000 and a franchise record 30-6-5 mark at home. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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by Brian Feldman / Hockey StL

KMOV.com

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 8:11 PM

(Hockey StL) -- In what might turn out to be one of the most important moves of the next decade, Blues owner Tom Stillman has rewarded GM Doug Armstrong with a 5-year contract extension.

That’s quite a long time to commit to someone as a chief decision maker.  

But when the Blues have witnessed such a magical turnaround and are viewed as, quite possibly, the most exciting young team in the NHL it’s critical to gain some continuity and reward performance.

When players play well, they get contracts.  The same is true for the decision makers.  They have to be held to the same standard.  Just like if they don’t do their jobs and the team is losing you and I know full well they’d be out of a job.

Armstrong has done a phenomenal job thus far of identifying prospects who truly can and will become legitimate stars and keeping them while trading away the ones who just look like they can be elite but in truth won’t ever develop.

That’s quite possibly the hardest part of being an executive in professional sports.  Figuring out who’s going to be good and who is not.  The ones who have that part figured out more often than not are the ones who survive a long time.  The ones who don’t?  Well, they don’t last.

I talked today to several members of the organization about Armstrong and they all say he’s just a very honest guy who lets you know where you stand.  If you are on the team, you’ll know.  if you’re on the bubble fighting for a job, he’ll tell you.  If you’re going to the minors, that’s what he’ll say.

Players just want to know the truth about them and their situation.  Several in sports have been lied to or they’re surprised to hear when something happens.  Good GM’s don’t allow surprises.  They communicate every step of the way.

Doug Armstrong has put the Blues back on the map with the vision of bringing this organization its very first Stanley Cup.  He says it weighs on him every single day.  

With this 5-year extension, he’ll have plenty of time to get the right pieces in place.

 

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