Signs celebrating the awarding of a new NHL team to...

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. Utah Hockey Club will be the name of the NHL team playing its games in Salt Lake City beginning this fall, with a long term identity still to come. Credit: AP/Rick Bowmer

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

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 skillset 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.

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.

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