(HockeyStL) -- Well-deserved. Those were the words uttered throughout the Blues locker room after news broke that executive vice president and general manager Doug Armstrong agreed to a five-year contract extension Wednesday.
Armstrong became general manager of the team in 2010 and has played an instrumental part in rebuilding a Blues team from the ground up for even longer than that. Under his guidance, the team brought in Ken Hitchcock along with Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott, all three were year-end trophy winners in the NHL last season.
He also extended the contracts of other key players including David Backes, T.J. Oshie, David Perron and Alex Steen. Armstrong made trades to acquire Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk and Kris Russell, and drafted Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko.
That’s just only a bit of what he has done for the organization on the ice.
“I think there is other things that he does that aren’t seen as far as really pushing for things that will help win off the ice as far as conditions around here and getting a little extra edge on the opponents any way that he can find,” Backes said. “Those little things go along way with the guys and really bring that winning attitude to our room.”
The Blues captain also credits Armstrong’s demeanor when handling business as being part of the general manager’s success during his time with the organization.
“(It’s) which you prefer over the tip-toeing around and then you have to decode what someone’s saying, that’s no fun, and you’re always uncertain what footing you’re on. With (Armstrong), you want to talk with him and see where you stand, he’ll tell you right to your face,” Backes added.
Alex Pietrangelo also shared the same sentiment, but also sees Armstrong as a solid go-to guy for when a problem arises.
“He’s a guy you can talk to. Obviously he has tried to build a winner here and he’s done that so far,” Pietrangelo said. “It’s exciting to have him here for another five years. It’s definitely a well-deserved contract extension.”
Armstrong is clearly held in a high-respect among the Blues players. His blunt personality coupled with the respect has helped him gain the player’s trust when it comes to personnel moves.
“He’s not a guy that is going to go out there and go after a free agent just because he’s the highest profiled,” Barret Jackman said. “He’s smart to build a team with pieces that fit for the organization, for the market we’re in and for the dressing room.”
Armstrong was named the NHL’s General Manager of the Year in 2012.