Utah Hockey Club names agency veteran Chris Armstrong president of hockey operations

File photo of signs celebrating the awarding of a new NHL team to Utah is displayed at the Delta Center, Friday, April 19, 2024, in Salt Lake City | Photo by AP/Rick Bowmer, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Hockey Club named Chris Armstrong president of hockey operations Tuesday, making him the latest agency veteran to run an NHL team.

This rendering provided the Utah Hockey Club, shows the new NHL team’s home and away uniform, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 13, 2024 | The Associated Press, St. George News

Armstrong spent nearly 14 years at Wasserman, most recently serving as executive vice president of talent innovation and strategic development.

He takes over control of the NHL team bought by Ryan Smith’s Smith Entertainment Group and relocated from Arizona to Salt Lake City.

Smith said Armstrong “has cultivated strong relationships with top players, agents, and executives across the hockey world throughout his career, and his unique background and diverse skill set will be crucial as we establish the greatest possible hockey experience for our community, fans, players, coaches and front office.”

The two teams in the Stanley Cup Final are each led by someone who went the agency route: Florida president of hockey operations Bill Zito and Edmonton CEO of hockey operations Jeff Jackson.

FILE – Ryan Smith, co-founder and chairman of Smith Entertainment Group, speaks before Utah NHL hockey team is introduced to fans during a welcome event Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Salt Lake City, Utah | Photo by AP/Rick Bowmer, St. George News

Zito was assistant general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets before the Panthers hired him.

Jackson went right into his job with the Oilers last year after being the longtime agent of Connor McDavid and several other players.

Armstrong helped found Wasserman’s Canadian business in 2010 and was part of the company’s foray into hockey in 2018.

He will oversee a department run on a day-to-day basis by Bill Armstrong — no relation — who is going into his fifth season as GM of the franchise formerly known as the Coyotes.

Written by Associated Press.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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