As the Florida Panthers continue their search for a new general manager, two new candidates — Bill Armstrong and Kevin Weekes — have emerged, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday.
“They’ve done a lot of their interviews this week, they’re going to narrow their list of candidates — we’ve reported a lot of them, you’ve heard a lot of the names out there,” Friedman said. “But there’s two I’d like to add to the list.
“Bill Armstrong, the assistant GM of the Blues, who are now eliminated. And also Kevin Weekes, our former teammate who now works at the NHL Network, I believe he’s been interviewed by the Panthers, too.”
Weekes’ NHL goaltending career spanned 11 seasons, including one with the Panthers, before retiring and becoming a broadcaster in 2009. If he were to be hired for the role, he would become the only active Black general manager in the NHL.
Armstrong joined the Blues in 2004 as an amateur scout, eventually becoming director of amateur scouting by 2011. He was promoted to assistant general manager in 2018 and was a part of the Blues’ Cup-winning team last season.
The Panthers parted ways with Dale Tallon, their former general manager, in early August after the team’s elimination from Stanley Cup Playoffs contention at the hands of the New York Islanders.
Tallon had been with the franchise for 10 years, during which the Panthers failed to win a single playoff series — despite lofty expectations stemming from the off-season acquisition of Sergei Bobrovsky from the Columbus Blue Jackets on a seven-year, $70-million contract in order to bolster core players Aaron Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov.
Florida has been linked to “Chris Drury of the Rangers, Michael Futa, who’s a free agent, and Scott Mellanby of Montreal,” Friedman reported during last weekend’s Headlines segment. “It’s also expected for John Ferguson in Boston and Laurence Gilman in Toronto (to be contacted).”
Rounding out the list of formerly known candidates who could be in the mix are Ron Hextall, the former Philadelphia Flyers GM and Ross Mahoney of the Washington Capitals.