As soon as the Toronto Maple Leafs said general manager Kyle Dubas wouldn’t be returning next season, speculation ran rampant surrounding their next general manager. Peculiarly, one of the names that popped up in some circles was current St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.
This morning, Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland put an end to that speculation, reporting Armstrong does not have an out clause in his contract with the Blues that would allow him to take a job elsewhere. As Strickland notes, Armstrong has three seasons remaining on his deal with St. Louis.
When David Poile retires from his post with the Nashville Predators on June 30, Armstrong will become the longest-tenured general manager in the NHL. He was promoted to the role ahead of the 2010-11 season after serving two seasons as the team’s director of player personnel.
Since then, Armstrong has become one of the more heralded managers in the league, constructing the first Stanley Cup-winning roster in franchise history. A recent stretch of middling play from the Blues hasn’t seemed to dip Armstrong’s reputation all that much, either.
He may have made some questionable contract choices recently, namely a four-year, $16MM extension for Nick Leddy with trade protection, but he’s also made some shrewd trades and waiver claims that have the Blues in a good spot to retool instead of rebuild.
Undoubtedly, he and the Blues both want him at the helm for a potentially franchise-altering 2023 NHL Draft, where the Blues have three picks in the first round.
For Toronto, their GM search remains wide open, without many confirmed candidates on their search list.