Dallas Stars: Doug Armstrong

Former Dallas Stars GM Doug Armstrong, now the general manager of the St. Louis Blues, is one of three finalists for the NHL's GM of they Year Award. The other two finalists are David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers.

Here's the release from the NHL:
Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues, David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 NHL General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced today.

Voting for this award was conducted among the 30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Following are the finalists, in alphabetical order, for NHL General Manager of the Year:

Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Armstrong oversaw a Blues renaissance reflected by their 49-22-11 record and first Central Division title since 1999-2000. Adding to a talented nucleus of Blues draft picks that includes David Backes, T.J. Oshie, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo, Armstrong made the signing of the summer in unheralded free agent goaltender Brian Elliott, who led the NHL with a 1.56 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. He also acquired veteran forwards Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. After the Blues started the season 6-7-0, Armstrong made a change behind the bench by bringing in 500-game winner and Stanley Cup champion head coach Ken Hitchcock, who led St. Louis to a 43-15-11 record.

David Poile, Nashville Predators

A season after Nashville won its first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff series, Poile’s work helped the Predators (48-26-8) earn a postseason berth for the seventh time in eight seasons and an opportunity for more milestones. As in past years, the Predators’ underlying strength was its deep roster of players drafted and developed by the organization, including star goaltender Pekka Rinne, leading scorers Martin Erat and David Legwand, and defensemen Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Kevin Klein. Poile negotiated the late-season return of star forward Alex Radulov and also acquired top-six forward Andrei Kostitsyn, shutdown center Paul Gaustad and veteran defenseman Hal Gill prior to the trade deadline.

Dale Tallon, Florida Panthers

Tallon’s comprehensive off-season overhaul was a runaway success as the Panthers (38-26-18) captured the first division title in franchise history and earned a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 12 years. He named Kevin Dineen to his first NHL head coaching assignment last June and followed with a flurry of acquisitions that included forwards Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann, Sean Bergenheim and Tomas Kopecky, defensemen Brian Campbell and Ed Jovanovski and goaltender Jose Theodore. In-season acquisitions of veteran forwards Mikael Samuelsson , John Madden, Marco Sturm, Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson bolstered Florida’s playoff drive.

Some thoughts on Canada's gold medal win

February, 28, 2010
First, congrats to Team Canada. The country has been pointing toward this moment for years and to do it in that building and in overtime against the United States has to be especially sweet.

Congrats, too, to Brenden Morrow. I can tell you from talking to Morrow before the team was selected and then chatting with him after he was picked to join the club that this is a very big deal to him. He knew what it meant to play on Team Canada in Vancouver for the Olympics. And with all the pressure that comes with that, Morrow played well and will wear a gold medal.

Some other thoughts:

* Sidney Crosby sure knows how to seize the moment, doesn't he? Wow. The guy is a champion and he showed it again on Sunday. His young resume now has a Stanley Cup and a gold medal.

* Kudos to former Stars general manager Doug Armstrong and former Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock, who were a part of the staff that put together Team Canada.

* Ryan Miller sure looked emotional after the game. But he was phenomenal for Team USA throughout the entire tournament. And he was great in the gold medal game, too.

* I know Marc Crawford was joking, but how great would it be to have Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf on the Stars with Morrow. I'd sure like to watch that line in the month of March with the challenge that faces the Stars.

* If the Stars get the Morrow that played like a demon around the net during the Olympics, it should be a very interesting 21 games in 40 days.

* I'd like to see if this tournament and the fact that the U.S. and Canada played such a great gold medal final, which needed overtime to decide it, will help ratings for hockey as the NHL resumes. The Stanley Cup playoffs are right around the corner and so many of these players on both sides will be in the postseason.

* The United States was the youngest team in this tournament. They played extremely well and, should the NHL continue to send players to the Olympics, they have a bright future in Olympic play.

* It was cool to hear everyone singing the National Anthem of Canada after the medals were given out. I may be biased (having lived in Montreal my final two years of high school), but I think it's a great anthem.