Coyotes make Armstrong next general manager

The Arizona Coyotes named Bill Armstrong their new general manager on Thursday.

Armstrong, 50, has been the St. Louis Blues‘ assistant GM/director of amateur scouting the past two seasons.

He replaces John Chayka, who resigned as GM on the eve of the Stanley Cup playoffs, leading the team to say he “quit” and that it was “disappointed in his actions and his timing.”

“We are very excited to welcome Bill to the Coyotes as our new general manager,” said Coyotes president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez in a statement. “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.”

Armstrong joined the Blues as a scout in 2004 and was named director of amateur scouting in 2010. He added the assistant general manager title in 2018. In overseeing the Blues’ draft, he helped the team add key players in St. Louis’ 2019 Stanley Cup victory, such as Jordan Binnington, Joel Edmundson, Colton Parayko and Robert Thomas.

“I am extremely grateful to Mr. Meruelo, Alex Meruelo Jr., and Xavier Gutierrez for this opportunity,” Armstrong said in the statement. “We have great ownership that is committed to winning, a very good core group of young, talented players, and a passionate fan base. I’m excited about our future and the opportunity to build this team into a perennial playoff contender.”

The Coyotes had 74 points this season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12. They beat the Predators in the qualifying round but were knocked out in the first round by the Avalanche in five games.

Sullivan’s first order of business is to see if he can persuade free-agent-to-be Taylor Hall to remain in Arizona. The 2018 Hart Trophy winner was acquired from New Jersey in December 2019.

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