GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes introduced their 10th general manager in team history Tuesday.
Bill Armstrong made two things clear in his introductory press conference, he took the job to bring a championship to the desert and he’s dedicated to changing the culture within the organization.
“I’ve won three different championships at three different levels and three different roles,” said Armstrong. “I didn't come all the way to the desert to get a tan. I came here to win a championship.”
Armstrong most recently served as the assistant GM for the St. Louis Blues, where he helped them win a Stanley Cup a year ago. He also spent time as a player and a scout, and it didn’t take long for him to impress team owner Alex Mereulo and president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez.
“Meruelo and I were talking with Bill and he texted me and he says, I’d run through a wall for this guy,” said Gutierrez. “He is just such a leader and he really does have a presence.”
Gutierrez said Armstrong also has a track record of success and a vision which are qualities they were looking for.
Armstrong received text messages advising him not to take to the job because nobody has been able to have success in Arizona. But, he wanted to accept the challenge and believes the team’s biggest obstacle was former ownership.
“They haven’t had ownership like the ownership that’s here now, that is strong, stable ownership,” said the new GM. “I think that’s the number one problem.”
As part of his commitment to changing the culture within the organization, Armstrong has fired the team’s director of scouting Lindsay Hofford.