Armstrong Contract About More Than Money
As long as Armstrong isn’t looking to jump ship, getting an extension completed should be the easy part. He’ll be due a sizable raise when you consider what other GM’s around the NHL are making. Steve Yzerman is around $2.5 million while Brian Burke makes close to $3 million in Toronto. Sources say Armstrong is making just north of $1 million this season.
He inherited a pretty good team with a number of players ready to take the next step in their NHL careers, but you can't deny the impact he's made on the franchise in just a few short years.
The Blues wouldn't be in this position without former Execs Jarmo Kekalainen and Larry Pleau but they wouldn't be here without Armstrong either. They needed his guidance to mold the team into a winner. Somebody had to get this franchise over the hump and Armstrong has hardly hit a bump in the road.
Today he was named a finalist for GM of the Year in the NHL.
St. Louis is a small market team in terms of revenues and Armstrong has always taken this into consideration when negotiating player contracts.
This probably isn’t the best organization to work for if being the highest paid player/manager is most important. Locking up Armstrong’s people will be just as important, if not more, to him than his own deal. He relies heavily on go-to guys Rob Dimaio and Dave Taylor and it’s critical these people are taken care of. Both of these guys have done tremendous work behind the scenes.
There are several individuals on the amateur side also needing contracts including Director of Amateur Scouting Bill Armstrong.
Peoria GM Kevin McDonald is also up for a new deal.
Tom Stillman knows what he’s walking into and there's a plan in place to make sure the resources are there to retain Armstrong. There’s no rush on an extension and Stillman still needs to close on his purchase.
Armstrong is under contract for another year and the right time will come to hammer out a new deal. He should have a major say in what the structure of the hockey department looks like moving forward.
It's safe to say the circumstances surrounding Ownership have been frustrating for Armstrong. Through it all he's stayed professional and kept his personal feelings to himself. Over the last two years he’s said very little publicly in regard to the financial situation.
It's important the resources are there to help the team sustain success and continue to grow moving forward. The Blues shouldn't be forced to have a two or three year window to compete for a Stanley Cup.
This is where Stillman will look to create a business model that gets the franchise back on it's feet financially.
More to come,
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