Earlier today, Hockey Canada announced that St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will be the GM for Team Canada for the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Joining his staff as an associate GM is Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland. In addition to them, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney, special advisor to the GM of the Florida Panthers (Bill Zito) Roberto Luongo, and Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis are joining the staff as assistant general managers.
Armstrong Has An Extensive History
Doug Armstrong has an extensive management history with Team Canada. He was a part of the management team that saw them bring home the gold in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. Plus, he’s been an assistant general manager for Team Canada twice at the IIHF World Championships, not medaling in 2002 but winning silver in 2008. He was then the general manager of the 2009 IIHF World Championship team that won silver. On top of that, he was a senior advisor to the 2007 and 2016 IIHF World Championship teams. Both of those teams won gold.
Outside of his international career, Armstrong has seen a lot of success as an NHL GM. He joined the Dallas Stars in 1991 as an assistant general manager and won the Stanley Cup there in 1999. He was then promoted to GM on January 25th, 2002, where he would stay until his firing on November 13th, 2007.
The next season, he joined the St. Louis Blues as the director of player personnel, which is a position he would hold for two seasons. He was then promoted to general manager, which is a position he holds to this day. He led the Blues to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2019. On top of that, he was the executive vice president of hockey operations for his first three seasons as GM. After that, he was promoted to president of hockey operations, which is a position he still holds today.
These Guys Have Many Tough Decisions Ahead
I don’t envy any of these men for the job they have ahead. The decisions they will have to make over the next year are going to be incredibly difficult. The amount of talent in the NHL and other professional leagues that comes from Canada is simply absurd. They could probably spend two or three teams to the Olympics and all three of them would be competitive. Arguably the current top three players in the world- Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, and Sidney Crosby- are all centers from Canada. So, we’re likely looking at a world where Sidney Crosby is a third-line center on an Olympic hockey team. That’s insane.
Even though they have some incredibly hard decisions ahead, Doug Armstrong and co can take comfort in the fact that no matter what they decide, they’re almost certainly walking out of Beijing with a medal. It would be an absolute shock if they didn’t. Not only do they just have that much talent available to them, but all of these men were picked to lead the team for a reason. They have extensive histories of building elite teams. They know how to build not only an unbelievably talented team but one with great chemistry. Even though I’m an American and will be rooting hard for Team USA, which should also be stacked, I can’t help but be excited to see what this Canadian team ends up looking like.
We’re in for a real treat in these next Olympics provided the NHL, IIHF, and IOC work out an agreement (which seems very likely right now), and I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait!
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured image courtesy of Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
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