Thursday: The team has officially announced Armstrong as the new GM. Coyotes president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez released a statement on the hire:
We are very excited to welcome Bill to the Coyotes as our new General Manager. We were extremely impressed with his experience, vast hockey knowledge, great ability to assess talent, and his tremendous draft record. Bill is a proven winner who has a strong work ethic and is a good communicator. He is a man of integrity and we are confident that he’s the right person to build a winning culture here and lead our hockey operations department into the future.
Wednesday: The Arizona Coyotes have still been slowly working their way through their offseason work, with the latest move coming yesterday when they signed Adin Hill to a new one-year contract. Still, that work is being done without a full-time GM, as Steve Sullivan fills in while they look for a new front office leader.
Last night, Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider reported that the team had made an offer to Bill Armstrong to become their next GM. Armstrong currently serves as AGM with the St. Louis Blues. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (among others) confirmed that Armstrong is the leading candidate and could get the job “over the next day or so.” Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet are both reporting that the deal is done with Armstrong to become the team’s next GM. The expectation is he will be signing a five-year contract with the team, worth more than $1MM per season.
If you were a fan of the Hershey Bears or Providence Bruins in the early nineties, you may remember Armstrong as the massive, old-school defenseman that was more than willing to drop the gloves at a moment’s notice. A third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1990, the 6’5″ Armstrong would never make the NHL, instead settling for 1,169 penalty minutes in 439 AHL contests. Soon after his retirement from playing in 1998 he joined the P-Bruins as an assistant coach, before taking over the head coaching duties a few years later.
Eventually, Armstrong found his way to the Blues in 2004 as a scout and has been with the organization ever since. In 2018 he became an assistant GM for Doug Armstrong—to which there is no relation—after Martin Brodeur left the organization.
The Coyotes are looking for a new GM after John Chayka’s ugly public divorce from the team earlier this summer. Formerly the youngest GM in the league, Chayka had served in the role since 2016 but terminated his contract with the team in July.