New, for @NorthStarBet: A major trade may not be on the immediate horizon for the #leafs – more on that here – but a look at five potential GM candidates with the kind of experience the organization covets. https://t.co/bekRDHw5nr
– Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 23, 2023
There’s one name on everyone’s lips in the Toronto media right now: Doug Armstrong of the Blues is one of the candidates constantly attracting attention in the race to become GM of the Maple Leafs.
Let’s get something straight, though: this is not a rumor, and the matter has never gone beyond the stage of speculation.
There still seems to be a good amount of speculation swirling around the possibility of Doug Armstrong as a GM candidate in Toronto. High ranking source close to the Blues says, “all of this talk seems to be fabricated”.
– Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 23, 2023
First, it’s important to mention that Doug Armstrong is not only still under contract with the Maple Leafs, he signed a five-year contract extension less than two years ago.
While it’s unusual for a club to be able to steal (so to speak) a GM from another team, Armstrong is guaranteed a job in St. Louis until 2026.
It’s true that he ticks all the boxes, and Pierre LeBrun hinted that thanks to his good relationship with the Blues’ owner, Armstrong could MAYBE convince him to let him go despite the absence of a severance clause in his contract. But that’s highly speculative.
But IF it were true…
- Armstrong is the one who mentioned, at the end of the season, that he felt disconnected from his players, from a generational point of view: “They’ll play 18 minutes and they’ll be satisfied with the 18-second clip of their game being shared on YouTube and getting a million likes. I have to try and understand why they reason that way. It’s a good summer project for an old man like me.” Would he really include Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, who enjoy a lot of sartorial/social lousse?
- Counter-argument to point #1: wouldn’t it be perfect if an old hand treated this team without mercy, and without developing a special relationship with his players? It’s been a problem for Marc Bergevin, in all likelihood, and it’s always said that a GM shouldn’t get too close to his players. Doug Armstrong running the Leafs’ business might make a difference.
- Counter-argument to point #2: the boss of the business is Brendan Shanahan, not Doug Armstrong. Would he relinquish full control of the Blues to have transactions blocked by a man who, despite his competence, has less experience than he does in managing an NHL team? Would he see any real advantage in this job in Toronto?
In short. The obstacles are many. If you’ve got a couple of bucks lying around, you might be better off not betting it on this scenario and spending it on slush at the corner store instead.
In a gust
– The big challenge lies ahead.
“We didn’t build this team to win just in our league, but to win the big honors” – Patrick Roy | JDQ https://t.co/PuNuEXB3f2
– Kevin Dubé (@KDubeJDQ) May 23, 2023
– Keeping up to date.
– Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) May 23, 2023
– Roger Goodell is reportedly extending his contract.
A contract extension until 2027 would be in the plans 🏈 https://t.co/9aHBU72VE2
– TVA Sports (@TVASports) May 23, 2023