St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong doesn't think the NHL's hiatus will impact his club's ability to defend its Stanley Cup title should the 2019-20 season resume.
"With the knowledge of what we did last year, and that we have a mature team, we're not worried about whether they're preparing or what they're doing off the ice, eating correctly and doing whatever workouts they need to be doing; I know they are because they've shown that year in and year out," Armstrong told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.
"We feel excited that if we get the opportunity again that we'll be in a very good spot to put our very best foot forward."
The Blues continued their elite play this season and occupy the top seed in the Western Conference with the campaign on pause. The core group that brought the franchise its first Stanley Cup remains intact and star winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who missed most of this season following shoulder surgery in October, should also be back in the fold.
"You need to plan that you're going to play again," Armstrong said. "And we are planning that we're going to play again. We're very fortunate that we have a mature group, and the majority of our team is coming back that was here last year at this time. They did a really good job of putting themselves in a good spot throughout the regular season."
St. Louis pulled off one of the most incredible runs in NHL history in 2018-19. After sitting last in the league on Jan. 1, the Blues went on a 30-10-5 run that propelled them into the postseason and eventually to the Stanley Cup.