When the Blues announced that they had a 5:00 announcement coming, fans wondered if it was a trade. When the Blues announced the deal that sent Zach Sanford to Ottawa for Logan Brown a few hours before the announcement time, it nixed that speculation.
Obviously, it was a planned announcement, as the Blues stated that they were holding a press conference pretty early on Saturday. Fans found out at five on the dot: Doug Armstrong, who has been general manager since 2010, would be with the team for five more years.
Armstrong has, overall, had a good track record as general manager of the Blues - it’s difficult to argue otherwise when the goodwill from both the trade that brought Ryan O’Reilly to St. Louis and the franchise’s first Stanley Cup will be around for near forever.
He has had a few clunker deals - Ryan Miller comes to mind - and key UFAs such as Alex Pietrangelo have walked under his tenure. There is also his propensity for long term contracts with salary based on one good season - Alex Steen’s and Patrik Berglund’s deals are two of the biggest offenders.
Even with those type of deals, Armstrong finds a way to iron the hiccups out. The current hiccup that Vladimir Tarasenko’s trade request has proven to be is starting to look like it’s going to be a positive situation after all. Tarasenko has been adamant about not wanting to be a distraction, and he knows that if he’s going to be traded this season, he’s going to have to have a standout start to the year. Even if it is for the short run, that benefits the Blues and by proxy Armstrong.
Is it really 4D chess to not be able to trade your superstar player due to medical questions? No, but Doug Armstrong is really good at making that situation - and a lot of other situations - look just like it is.