Doug Armstrong AP

Blues GM Armstrong gets 5-year contract extension


Doug Armstrong won’t have to worry about his next paycheck until at least 2018. The Blues’ general manager has been signed to a five-year contract extension, as first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The team will hold a press conference this morning when it’s expected to announce the news.

Armstrong, who’s been with the club since 2008, was named GM in July of 2010. Among the moves he’s made was a trade with the Colorado Avalanche that shipped out former first overall pick defenseman Erik Johnson in return for forward Chris Stewart and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

Goalie Jaroslav Halak was another Armstrong trade acquisition.

Armstrong also made the call last November to fire head coach Davis Payne and hire Ken Hitchcock. That decision was a wise one, as the Blues went on the finish the season with 109 points, tied for second most in the NHL.

Looking ahead, Armstrong has a number of pending restricted free agents on his roster, including franchise defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Stewart, and forward Patrik Berglund.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”