Colby Joseph Armstrong (born November 23, 1982) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in a 9-year career. He currently serves as an NHL analyst for Sportsnet. Armstrong's younger brother, Riley Armstrong, also played in the NHL, with the San Jose Sharks.
November 23, 1982|
Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vaxjo Lakers HC
21st overall, 2001|
Armstrong was born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan but grew up in Saskatoon. Legend has it, that when he was born his mother was at a loss as to what to name him. Upon eating an entire hunk of Colby cheese, she was struck by inspiration. She named him Colby after that hunk of cheese. In the off-season, he lives in the village of Clavet, located southeast of Saskatoon. As a child, he was a figure-skater. He later played hockey with the Saskatoon Red Wings and the Saskatoon Blazers. Like Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll, Philadelphia Flyers brothers Brayden and Luke Schenn, and Eric Gryba of the Edmonton Oilers, he attended St. Joseph High School in Saskatoon.
In the 2005–06 season, Armstrong made his NHL debut, and had a superb rookie season, in which he played 47 games and tallied 40 points (16 goals and 24 assists) and had a team-high plus-minus rating of +15.
Armstrong had three overtime goals for the Penguins in the 2006–07 season, beating Kari Lehtonen of the Atlanta Thrashers, Ed Belfour of the Florida Panthers and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. The Penguins and Armstrong avoided an arbitration hearing in the 2006–07 off-season by re-signing him to two-year, $2.2 million contract. Armstrong became very close friends with former teammate Sidney Crosby while playing for the Penguins. On January 1, 2008, Armstrong scored the first ever outdoor Winter Classic goal in the inaugural event.
Pittsburgh traded Armstrong on February 26, 2008, to the Atlanta Thrashers, alongside Angelo Esposito, Erik Christensen and a first-round draft pick, in exchange for Marián Hossa and Pascal Dupuis. He then scored 11 points in 18 games to finish out the 2007–08 season with Atlanta.
On July 16, 2009, Armstrong re-signed with the Thrashers to a one-year, $2.4 million contract. He served as one of the team's alternate captains during the 2009–10 season.
On July 1, 2010, Armstrong signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs on a three-year, $9 million contract. With his first two seasons largely affected by injury and inconsistent play, on June 30, 2012, he was bought-out by the Maple Leafs from his final season of his contract.
With the opening of free agency the next day, July 1, 2012, Armstrong signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens. During the lock-out-shortened 2012–13 season, Armstrong played mostly on the fourth line. Although he contributed only 5 points in 37 games, Montreal made the 2013 playoffs.
Armstrong was a member of Canada's 2007 IIHF World Championship-winning team. His only goal of the tournament was the game-winning goal in the gold medal game against Finland in Moscow, which Canada won 4–2. He scored the first ever outdoor Winter Classic goal in the inaugural 2008 event.
Rogers Media hired Armstrong as an analyst for Sportsnet's national coverage of the NHL starting in the 2014–15 season. Since 2016, he has also been an analyst of Pittsburgh Penguins games for the Root Sports Pittsburgh post-game broadcast crew.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|1998–99||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||1||0||1||1||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||68||13||25||38||122||2||0||1||1||11|
|2000–01||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||72||36||42||78||156||21||6||6||12||29|
|2001–02||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||64||27||41||68||115||23||6||10||16||22|
|2010–11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||50||8||15||23||61||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||29||1||2||3||9||—||—||—||—||—|
- On June 23, 2001, selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first-round (#21 overall) of the 2001 NHL draft.
- On August 12, 2005, re-signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- On July 21, 2006, re-signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 1-year contract.
- On July 12, 2007, re-signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-year/$2.4 million contract.
- On February 26, 2008, traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins with Angelo Esposito, Erik Christensen and a 2008 first-round pick (#29-Daultan Leveille) to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Marián Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.
- On July 16, 2009, re-signed by the Atlanta Thrashers.
- On July 1, 2010, signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs as an unrestricted free agent to a 3-year contract.
- On July 1, 2012, the Toronto Maple Leafs bought out his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.
- On July 1, 2012, signed by the Montreal Canadiens as an unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract.
- "Pens re-sign Armstrong". pittsburghlive.com. 2006-07-21. Archived from the original on 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
- "Penguins get Hossa, hoping he's the missing piece to their Cup". ESPN. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "Maple Leafs ink Colby Armstrong". The Globe and Mail. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
- "Canadiens sign Free Agents Prust, Bouillon, Armstrong". Montreal Gazette. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Colby Armstrong official profile". Twitter. 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- "ROOT SPORTS Adds Armstrong, Rupp As Analysts". The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
- "NHL Entry Draft Year by Year Results". NHL. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "PENGUINS RE-SIGN RIGHT WING COLBY ARMSTRONG - Pittsburgh Penguins". Pittsburgh Penguins. August 12, 2005. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "PENGUINS RE-SIGN ARMSTRONG TO ONE-YEAR DEAL - Pittsburgh Penguins - News". Pittsburgh Penguins. July 21, 2006. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "Penguins Re-Sign Colby Armstrong - Pittsburgh Penguins - News". July 12, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "PENS ACQUIRE HOSSA, DUPUIS FROM ATLANTA - Pittsburgh Penguins - News". Pittsburgh Penguins. February 26, 2008. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "Canadiens sign Colby Armstrong to a one-year contract - Montréal Canadiens - News". Montreal Canadiens. July 2, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2013.