Former Victoria Royals team member Grant Armstrong is the first Royals alumni to celebrate a Stanley Cup win. (Facebook/Victoria Royals)

Former Victoria Royals team member Grant Armstrong is the first Royals alumni to celebrate a Stanley Cup win. (Facebook/Victoria Royals)

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

A former member of the Victoria Royals family celebrated a Stanley Cup win Monday night.

Grant Armstrong, former Royals assistant general manager, joined the Tampa Bay Lightning as an amateur scout in 2019.

The Lightning won the Stanley Cup finals Monday evening 2-0, defeating the Dallas Stars in the fan-free Rogers Place arena in Edmonton.

RELATED: Port Alberni’s Rob Shick goes ‘inside the NHL bubble’ for pro hockey’s restart

RELATED: Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

A year ago Armstrong signed on as an amateur scout with the NHL team, after working in scouting and management roles with three Western Hockey League (WHL) teams from 2007 to 2019.

Armstrong, who grew up in North Delta and later coached there as a parent of two hockey-playing sons, was not in the Edmonton “bubble” when the Lightning lifted the polished trophy Monday night (Sept. 28).

“Basically all the scouting staff were at home watching it from our comfy couches,” Armstrong said with a laugh.

“I’m just honoured to be with an organization as first-class as Tampa,” he added. “The people there are great leaders, and it showed with the product we put on the ice. I’ve been there a short period of time but I’m very impressed with everything they represent and how proud they are to be a part of the community in South Florida.”

Armstrong is noted among 11 WHL alumni who are current members of the Cup-winning Lightning, with his hockey-ops stops in Portland, Victoria and Brandon.

The Wheat Kings employed Armstrong as general manager from 2016 to 2019, when he was let go by the team and he bolted for a chance to be a scout in the NHL.

“When my time was up in Brandon, the Lightning reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in getting involved in their organization on the scouting side, and it was a real quick turnaround last year,” recalled Armstrong, who now scouts junior players in the WHL and also on Junior A teams from B.C. to Manitoba.

“The nice thing is when you come into this position, you know the players and know their history, and for me it was an easy transition because the players were all familiar to me, and most of the people in the organizations are familiar with me as well.”

Now that the NHL season is over, Armstrong’s primary focus is the NHL Entry Draft, done in an online format Oct. 6-7.

Typically the annual event is held in June, but plans for an in-person 2020 draft in Montreal were cancelled by COVID-19.

“This year it’s been different,” Armstrong said, “because all of our preparation was done quite some time ago, back in the spring, so our work is done. Now, with the draft just a few days away, our setup work to put our list together is already in place, and we can now take the next step to, you know, draft future Bolts.

“We’ll all be on Zoom space and providing information as required,” he added. “Our head guys will be in Tampa, and there’ll be lots of communication throughout the day and during the draft, in terms of what’s next, what we’re looking at, but the list is done and we’ll generally follow the list and make sure we get everything in order from that list.”

Armstrong’s career in hockey started as a coach with North Delta Minor Hockey Association in the mid-1990s, when sons Jordan and Taylor began playing the game. He later coached the North Delta Devils junior team at Sungod Arena.

“Because I also grew up there, I probably spent more time in North Delta than I have in any other place,” Armstrong noted.

“I coached all through and got some opportunities through programs with Hockey Canada and met some good people, including Mike Johnston, who at the time was an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks,” he continued. “We developed a real strong friendship and he gave me a lot of concrete, sound advice.”

His next stop was with North Delta Devils.

“That parlayed into an opportunity to go to Portland when Mike went there,” Armstrong continued. “I became one of his scouts and went through the system and learned a lot about hockey development and programming, and overall how to run an organization. Credit to Mike, because I think he’s one of the best teachers in the game.”

From there, Armstrong had “four fantastic years” with the Royals, followed by his years in Brandon.

The Lightning won the best-of-seven series 4-2, nabbing the team’s second cup since 2004.

Armstrong worked with the Royals from 2015 to 2016 before taking on the role of general manager with the Brandon Wheat Kings from 2016 to 2019. In July 2019 he became a scout with the Tampa Bay team.

The Victoria Royals welcomed three new players last month.

The Western Hockey League is scheduled to begin its 2020-21 season on Dec. 4.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

–With files from Canadian Press.

hockeySportsVictoria Royals

Just Posted

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Red dresses to be hung from Ladysmith to Oyster Bay, showing solidarity against racism

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

Nanaimo playwright Anne Nesbitt is presenting a staged reading of her play about Indigenous conservationist Gertrude Bernard, also known as Anahareo (from left). (Photo courtesy Andrew Nesbitt/Riding Mountain National Park)
Island playwright tells the story of Indigenous woman who ‘saved the beaver’

Anne Nesbitt presents ‘Anahareo’ as part of TheatreOne staged reading series

Ladysmith’s Taylor Walters received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award and is hard at work pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction at Quest University. (Submitted photo)
Island teen’s passion for science and technology equality helps fund her education

Ladysmith’s Taylor Walters one of 16 Canadians honoured with Terry Fox Humanitarian Award

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

A Parksville Fire Department’s firefighter hoses down the facade of a Parksville Heritage Centre building after it caught fire on Friday afternoon (April 16). (Michael Briones photo)
Fire crews, roofers work to douse building fire in Parksville

Damage was minimal and workers escaped injury

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read