Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Brodeur steps down as assistant GM, replaced by Bill Armstrong

Hall of Fame goaltender spent past three seasons serving role under 
Doug Armstrong; Bill Armstrong will remain director of amateur scouting

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues announced changes to its operational staff, including the departure of Hall of Fame goaltender and assistant general manager Martin Brodeur.

Martin Brodeur
Brodeur, who owns several of the NHL's goaltending records and was indicted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in June, finished his career with the Blues and played seven games in 2014-15; he joined as a special advisor before being bumped up to assistant GM the past three seasons under Blues GM Doug Armstrong. Before joining the Blues front office, Brodeur played the first 21 seasons of his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils after from 1991-2014.

"We had a great experience with Marty," Armstrong said. "I appreciated his insight and professionalism over the last few years and wish him nothing but the best. Marty and I had talked over the last year and into the spring and really into the summer of the responsibilities that went into and more of the time responsibilities and work responsibilities that went into being an assistant manager. I have a ton of respect for Marty in a sense that he felt that at this point in his life with Max, his son, he wanted to spend a little more time at home. When you look at the hours that an assistant manager has to put in, even in the summer, you have the U-17 tournament, the U-18 tournament, the U-20 tournament, preparing, and Marty just felt that he needed to prioritize his family coming from playing and jumping right into management, he didn't have any time off. So I certainly understood that and we wish Marty nothing but the best as he moves forward. When he does want to get back in a management role and into hockey, his future will take him wherever he wants to go. He has great hockey sense and work ethic and we appreciate everything that he did here.

"... There is a comfort level when you're watching a game and you look to your right and you have Marty Brodeur and you look to your left and you have Al MacInnis in the sense that you try and surround yourself with people that have a different skill set. Obviously I never played one second in the NHL, so being able to bounce ideas off of Marty, not only about goaltending. I think he was so much more than that about his thought process about the game. I'm going to miss having that been-there, done-that sounding board. ... It's not like Marty's dead; we're not going his eulogy here, but there's a lot of things I'm going to miss about Marty not having him around every day just to bounce ideas off of. As a person, you're not going to find a better person, someone to travel with, someone who had a great balance of work and enjoyment. Marty had a smile on his face every day. He brought what I needed here. Don't take us too serious. We're lucky to be in this job. I'm going to try and continue that and learn from those things he brought to me."

When the announcement came down in late June regarding his Hall of Fame announcement, Brodeur seemed happy in his role and was asked if he'd consider moving on when his name was floated out there for potential jobs elsewhere.

"Yeah, it's nice, but I'm not looking forward to really moving on to take bigger roles," Brodeur said. "It's always nice to hear your name. ... Just being on the sidelines (as assistant GM) is good for me. I've got an eight-year-old at home, so I've got to spend some time with him. It's getting tougher and tougher on him.

"... But it's fun. You learn every single year. Every year brings different challenges as far as helping out the organization to try to get better. It's been a good transition, stay close to the game and that's what I wanted after my retirement." 

Brodeur, who will pursue other opportunities according to a team release, will be replaced by Bill Armstrong, who will serve a dual role as assistant GM and his current director of amateur scouting.

"I want to thank Tom Stillman, Doug Armstrong, Chris Zimmerman and the Blues organization for giving me the opportunity to continue my playing career and begin my career off the ice in hockey operations," Brodeur said in a statement. "I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career."

Bill Armstrong, 48, originally joined the Blues in July of 2004 as an amateur scout.  After seven seasons in that role, Armstrong was named director of amateur scouting in August of 2010.

Prior to joining the Blues, Bill Armstrong spent six seasons as a coach in the AHL, including 1998-99, when he helped guide the Providence Bruins to the 1999 Calder Cup Championship as an assistant. As a player, Bill Armstrong captured the 1990 Memorial Cup with the Ontario Hockey League's Oshawa Generals before being drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 1990 NHL Draft.

"I'm excited about the new position," said Bill Armstrong, who spearheaded drafts that helped the Blues bring in players like Vince Dunn, Joel Edmundson, Robby Fabbri and Colton Parayko, and prospects Ville Husso, Klim Kostin, Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. "It allows me a chance to manage the top end of the draft and continue to bring talent into the organization. Also at the same time, I'm very fortunate to have Doug to work with, to learn from him. He has a wealth of experience, not only being with the Blues but with winning a [Stanley] Cup in Dallas and building winning teams for Canada. I'm excited for that opportunity.

"... Doug and I have worked through some stressful situations when we're at the draft and it's been great to be in those situations and knowing that we can work under stress together and produce talent along with also some trades at the same time. It's been 14 years inside the organization and slowly growing to this point. I'm really excited about staying inside this organization and allow me to kind of grow. We have some great people inside this organization from Dave Taylor to Al MacInnis to Keith Tkachuk ... Robby DiMaio to Tim Taylor ... and some of the names you (media) guys wouldn't be so familiar with. ... They've just been unbelievable to work for. There's a lot of passion and a lot of drive that those guys have."

Also, pro scout Kevin McDonald has been named GM of the Blues' American Hockey League affiliate, San Antonio Rampage, and former NHL defenseman Glen Wesley has been named a development coach, replacing former Blue defenseman Barret Jackman, who will step away to spend more time with his family but with the possibility of returning in some form or fashion if he chooses down the road.

Additional title changes include Ryan Miller, who has been named director of hockey operations, and Dave Farrish, who has been named pro scout. On Monday, the Blues and San Antonio also named the Rampage’s coaching staff, adding former Blues defenseman J.J. Daigneault and former Blues assistant coach Daniel Tkaczuk as assistants under coach Drew Bannister.

Doug Armstrong said there has been no replacement named for Tkaczuk and there won't be one but he did say that video coach Sean Ferrell has the background in skill development and that he could get an increased role in that capacity. 

Doug Armstrong said that MacInnis, special advisor to the GM, will take on more responsibilities in helping Kevin McDonald in San Antonio, will try to get down there once a month with an eye on the prospects. MacInnis will also do more pro scouting.

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