Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Armstrong fired

Dallas Stars Chairman of the Board and Owner Thomas O. Hicks announced today that he has relieved Doug Armstrong from his duties as General Manager of the hockey club.
Dallas has struggled a bit this season, but in that they're keeping pace with the rest of the Pacific Division. This is a fairly surprising turn of events, as Armstrong has been a part of the Stars organization for 17 years and was under contract until 2011.

He's been the team's GM since January, 2002, and has a 210-109-58 record in that time. Dallas has made the playoffs the last four seasons, but hasn't made it out of the first round three consecutive years now.

Armstrong desperately wanted to upgrade his forwards this summer after a season in 2006-07 where goals were hard to come by, but he was outbid in a lot of instances. He almost got Slava Kozlov, and even reportedly had a bigger deal on the table than what he signed for to stay in Atlanta.

The Stars only had about $4-million available under the cap to work with and basically needed a scoring forward — there wasn't a lot available. Paul Kariya was said to be his No. 1 target heading in, but he ended up getting $6-million a year over three years in St. Louis.

The team's slow start (7-7-3) was apparently enough to axe him, but I think this shows incredible impatience from Hicks. If you're going to relieve a GM, it's best to do so in the off-season so at least there is time for someone to come in and perform an overhaul. This introduces a lot of uncertainty into an organization that basically was basically a middle-of-the-road team. (That said, Armstrong had some strange moves over the years, including trading for Patrik Stefan. He and his staff have also struggled at the draft.)

Still, there had been some wacky trade rumours out of Dallas this year, and attendance has been flagging, something that likely motivated Hicks to act more than anything.

Former Kings GM Dave Taylor is already in the organization, as is the highly regarded Les Jackson, currently an assistant GM, I believe.

Hicks purchased the team in December, 1995, but the Stars' real successes came with Bob Gainey in the GM's seat and Ken Hitchcock as coach.

Related
Army's been fired [Penalty Killing]
Things may get worse in Dallas [Eric Duhatschek]

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5 Comments:

At 2:54 PM, November 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Stars are at the end of their tenure as an elite team.
Hicks doesn't understand that.
Hey Tommy you can't just throw money at problems in a salary cap world.
Sorry but a centre tandem of an old Mike Modano and Mickey Ribs isn't going to scare too many teams.
No disrespect to Guy Carbonneau's son-in-law when he's your biggest star you're in big trouble.

 
At 3:19 PM, November 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trade for Stefan and Modry was actually a pretty good trade from a Stars standpoint. They only gave up Niko Kapanen who hadn't done much with the Stars and a middle round draft choice.

 
At 4:25 PM, November 13, 2007, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) How Tippet has avoided the axe despite doing NOTHING in the post season is bewildering. Perhaps he has some nasty photos of Hicks?!
2) It seems the (more) obvious move would be to replace the coach and see if that spurs the team. Then fire Armstrong in the sprig if things don't improve. What can you expect from the guy who over paid(and is still paying some of his salary) A-Rod 6 years ago?

 
At 5:19 PM, November 13, 2007, Blogger Baroque said...

He's not paying A-Rod any more, since he opted out of his contract to get even more money. That might be the noise you hear from Texas--cheering at FINALLY being off that big Boras hook.

 
At 6:25 PM, November 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brett Hull has been named interim GM along with the aforementioned Les Jackson.

 

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