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Arizona Coyotes hire Blues assistant GM, scouting director Bill Armstrong as GM

Armstrong began with the Blues as a scout in 2004 and has served as director of scouting since 2010 and assistant general manager since 2018.
Credit: NHL

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes hired St. Louis Blues assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting Bill Armstrong as the club's new general manager, it was announced Thursday. 

Reports of the potential hire circulated on social media Wednesday.

Armstrong began his time with the Blues as an amateur scout in 2004. 

Armstrong has four years of playing experience for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL, where he won the Memorial Cup in 1990. 

He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, also in 1990, and played nine years of professional hockey in the AHL and IHL.

He also has coaching experience with the Providence Bruins (AHL) and the Trenton Titans (ECHL).

The hire will come on the heels of a tumultuous offseason for the Coyotes, even though the club made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012.

In August, the NHL announced that the Coyotes were sanctioned for violating the league's NHL Combine testing policy. 

As a result, the club must forfeit its 2nd-round pick in the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft and a 1st-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. The Coyotes already don't have a 2020 1st-round pick, as they traded it to New Jersey in the Taylor Hall deal during this previous season.

The team announced in May it was parting ways with President and CEO Ahron Cohen and owner Alex Meruelo brought in Xavier A. Gutierrez in June. 

In July, General Manager John Chayka resigned his position and the organization expressed its disappointment in the days following:

"Chayka has chosen to quit on a strong and competitive team, a dedicated staff, and the Arizona Coyotes fans, the greatest fans in the NHL," the team said in the press release.

In mid-August, the Coyotes laid off and furloughed a number of staff members due to financial issues caused by the coronavirus. 

The Coyotes went 33-29-8 last season. They were one of the last teams into the expanded playoff format and defeated the Nashville Predators in a series to advance to the next round, where they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in five games.