Doug Armstrong and the St. Louis Blues moved Kevin Shattenkirk before the trade deadline and then decided to sit quietly on deadline day itself. Views on the Shattenkirk deal are still divided, so it seemed like the perfect time for another scientific Twitter poll.
This time it was simple – how do you view Doug Armstrong as a GM? Is he great, good, bad or horrible?
A total of 154 fans voted and Armstrong didn’t score too well.
Armstrong was labeled as bad or horrible by a combined 71% of all fans who voted. Though it may be easy to discredit those views as a knee-jerk reaction to the Shattenkirk deal, that poor showing should represent his entire body of work for the Blues.
At one time, many Blues fans would have considered Armstrong a great GM. His trade with the Avalanche to bring in Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart was brilliant. His deal with the Flames for Jay Bouwmeester wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. Other trades were pretty minor, but then the Ryan Miller trade of 2014 happened.
The Miller trade was my own personal turning point on Armstrong. The Blues overpaid for an asset they didn’t really need. History tells us that it didn’t work out, but it seemed pretty evident that it wasn’t going to work out at the time too.
There are other trades one could scrutinize, but the fact is Armstrong helped get the Blues to the Western Finals by assembling a strong roster for 2015-16. The problem was that he also built up an infuriating amount of committed cap space in players who didn’t deserve it. And so the Blues’ time near the top came to a really quick end.
That’s what led to the recent quote where Armstrong admits he’s just trying to make the playoffs.
The Blues aren’t in very good shape. Realistically, other teams are in bigger binds, but it’s amazing how the Blues fell so steeply from Cup contender to barely competing.
Armstrong may have some time ahead of him to try and right the ship and clean up his name in St. Louis, but for now it’s clear Blues fans are growing pretty impatient.