KSL SPORTS ZONE

Bill Armstrong: Utah’s NHL Team Has ‘Chance To Be Good For About 10 Straight Years’

Apr 29, 2024, 3:52 PM | Updated: Apr 30, 2024, 11:21 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Bill Armstrong, general manager of Utah’s NHL franchise, joined KSL Sports Zone’s Hans & Scotty G. to discuss the process of team building and his reaction to the fan event at the Delta Center.

Bill Armstrong talks building Utah’s NHL team

Armstrong joined Hans Olsen and Scott Garrard for a conversation on Utah’s NHL team on Monday, April 29.

During the interview, the AHL player turned NHL general manager discussed the team’s reception to Utah and his plans for building a Stanley Cup contender.

Reaction to fan event at Delta Center

On April 24, fans packed the Delta Center to officially welcome Armstrong and the rest of Utah’s NHL team to the Beehive State. On stage at the arena, Armstrong expressed his emotions and gratitude for the warm reception by the fans.

RELATED: Ryan Smith’s Promise Fulfilled As Fans Welcome NHL Team To Utah

The general manager echoed those comments to Olsen and Garrard.

“To see the overwhelming response in the building, brought a tear to our eye,” Armstrong said on KSL Sports Zone.

The GM added that he and his wife woke up the next morning, looked at Salt Lake City from their hotel room window, and had an “overwhelming calmness.”

“We’re in a good spot,” Armstrong said.

 

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He said that while in Arizona, the ex-Coyotes players experienced “getting outcheered in our own building.”

After the Delta Center reception, Armstrong doesn’t believe that history will repeat itself in Utah.

“I got a warm feeling in my gut that that’s not gonna happen in Utah,” Armstrong told Hans & Scotty G. “Those fans are gonna cheer.”

Focus on team building

Much of Armstrong’s comments focused on the construction of Utah’s roster and his philosophy for building a playoff contender.

Before joining the Coyotes, Armstrong was part of the front office in St. Louis when the Blues came out of a rebuild and won the Stanley Cup.

The general manager said the summer will be an exciting and busy time for Utah’s front office with the NHL draft and free agency.

Armstrong said the team’s goal is to play “playoff-style” hockey.

“We want to win in the playoffs,” the GM said on the radio.

Armstrong loves players that are physical and play with speed. He wants a roster that plays “the right way.”

Utah’s team is currently the second-youngest club in the NHL. Armstrong said that there is a lack of experience on the roster and the team will continue to take steps in the right direction to improve.

However, the general manager has faith in the state of the franchise’s rebuild and looks forward to adding more pieces.

“We’re gonna be adding good players out of the draft to our team,” Armstrong said. “If we do this process right, we’ve got a chance to be good for about 10 straight years.”

The general manager believes the core of an NHL team should be built through the draft and supplemented through free agency and trades.

“Your core of the team has to be built in the draft,” Armstrong said. “You have to draft your core.”

However, the general manager has stockpiled assets to improve the team via trades. “We’ve got assets to make trades for key positions,” Armstrong added.

Armstrong said that the rebuilding process is a slow one and that “we can’t rush the process.”

With a multitude of picks and the chance at getting a solid piece near the top of the NHL draft, Armstrong believes the team will “take another step” in 2024.

“It’s gonna be an exciting process,” the GM said.

To listen to Armstrong’s entire conversation with Olsen and Garrard, check out the audio player above. You can listen to the Hans & Scotty G. show weekdays from Noon-3 p.m. (MT) on KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM & 1280 AM).

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. Listen to Ireland on Yards After College: An NFL Podcast. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Bill Armstrong: Utah’s NHL Team Has ‘Chance To Be Good For About 10 Straight Years’