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Blues Hire Armstrong, Extend Pleau

by Staff Writer / St. Louis Blues
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has extended the contract of Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Larry Pleau through the 2009-10 season. Davidson also announced the club has named Doug Armstrong as Blues Vice President of Player Personnel. He will assume the General Manager duties beginning in 2010.

“Larry has been very valuable to this organization for many years,” said Davidson. “Under his watch we have locked up our young players with long term deals and continue to stockpile many up and coming prospects. Doug’s accomplishments in Dallas are quite impressive, with two Western Conference titles, two President’s Trophies and a Stanley Cup. To be able to add someone with Doug’s resume and hockey I.Q. gives us yet another trained set of eyes in our organization along with Larry, Al MacInnis, Jarmo Kekalainen, Kevin McDonald and myself as we continue to grow the St. Louis Blues.”

“This ownership group has treated me great since Day One as they have given my wife and me tremendous support as we battle this illness,” said Pleau. “Our goal since I got together with JD was to build a Stanley Cup contender and we are improving this franchise every day. I am proud that I will finish my career as a Blue and look forward to working closely with Doug as he begins his career in St. Louis. His knowledge and creativity will definitely improve the St. Louis Blues.”

“I am excited to be part of the Blues’ organization and work closely with JD and Larry in their efforts to bring St. Louis a Stanley Cup, said Armstrong. “With the young talent coming up in this organization, the future is extremely bright.”

Pleau was hired as the 10th general manager in Blues history on June 9, 1997. During his 11-year tenure as general manager, the Blues have posted a 387-333-100 record, while capturing the Presidents' Trophy during the 1999-2000 campaign as the NHL’s top regular season team. The club also posted a 260-153-63-16 record from 1997-1998 to 2002-2003, marking the best six-year span in franchise history. In 2002, Pleau received the Lester Patrick Trophy which is presented annually for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

From the time Pleau has been the General Manager of the Blues, the team has acquired players through trades such as Keith Tkachuk, Brad Boyes, Doug Weight, Scott Mellanby, Dallas Drake, Andy McDonald and Chris Osgood. In addition, the club has made key free agent signings such as Paul Kariya, Manny Legace and Bill Guerin. Pleau also has been involved in each of the Blues’ drafts since his arrival to St. Louis and the team has drafted Barret Jackman, Erik Johnson, David Perron, David Backes, Lee Stempniak, T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller and Ben Bishop.

Pleau served as the assistant general manager of silver medal-winning Team USA at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and was named General Manager for Team USA for the 2003 and 2004 (bronze medal) IIHF World Championships and at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He was named The Sporting News "Executive of the Year" following the Blues success in 1999-2000, when the team posted a 51-20-11 record and in 2000 was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

Armstrong, 43, has spent the past 17 seasons with the Dallas Stars organization including the last six seasons as the Stars General Manager. From January 25, 2002, to the start of the 2007-08 season, Armstrong led the Stars to the third most regular season point total (427), collected the third-most wins (190) and the second most home victories (110) and points (240) in the entire NHL. Dallas won two Pacific Division Championships (2002-03, 2005-06) and qualified for the playoffs four times over the span.

He has been a part of the Stars organization in each of the club’s 14 years in Dallas and has helped lead the franchise to two President’s Trophies, two Western Conference titles and the 1999 Stanley Cup championship.

Armstrong was able to retain a strong core of NHL players during his time in Dallas, including Brenden Morrow, Jere Lehtinen, Philippe Boucher and Marty Turco. He also acquired the fourth-most draft selections in the first three rounds over the past six seasons for the Stars.

Prior to being named the team’s seventh general manager, Armstrong served nine years as the assistant general manager under Bob Gainey. As Gainey’s assistant, he worked on contract negotiations and season scheduling, while handling the day-to-day operations of the hockey department.

A native of Sarnia, Ontario, Armstrong is the son of NHL Hall of Fame linesman Neil Armstrong who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
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