ARIZONA COYOTES

Arizona Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong: ‘I do not build rinks, I build teams’

Jul 2, 2023, 10:13 AM

Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong...

General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes talks during the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes have been in the center of NHL drama after their proposal for a new sports and entertainment district in Tempe was voted down by residents of the city.

Despite the constant chatter about where the Coyotes could move to, Arizona made a splash on the first day of free agency on Saturday, agreeing to five different signings within the first few hours of the window opening.

General manager Bill Armstrong stated that these signings are reinforcing the culture that he and coach André Tourigny have reaching for in the Valley.

Because of the arena situation, these players had to believe in the franchise’s plans for the futures as well as want to be Coyotes players.

“There is a lot of noise in the desert,” Armstrong told reporters Saturday night.

“As I told people in the Zoom calls while I was recruiting, I don’t build rinks, I build teams. I can not help you with the rink part, but I can help you put a good team on that ice. That is our motto.”

Armstrong is optimistic about the direction of the franchise with “a boat load of draft picks” and young talent.

He has not set lofty goals for the team yet but has high expectations for many individuals. He wants this team to be playing meaningful hockey later in the season as well as watch some of the young players grow into pieces that will be cornerstones of the franchise.

“We aim to be last year’s Buffalo or Ottawa, where you can kind of see the emergence of the team getting better,” Armstrong said.

“You have the young players coming in, (Dylan) Guenther, hopefully Logan Cooley plays for us very shortly. There are just some really good pieces we have that could hopefully help us take that step. … You never know what can happen in a year.”

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