Tampa Bay Lightning scout Grant Armstrong hoists the Stanley Cup Wednesday night (July 7) accompanied by wife Lezlie Armstrong, during a post-game reception at the NHL team’s arena. (Photo: twitter.com/jarmstrongbc)

Tampa Bay Lightning scout Grant Armstrong hoists the Stanley Cup Wednesday night (July 7) accompanied by wife Lezlie Armstrong, during a post-game reception at the NHL team’s arena. (Photo: twitter.com/jarmstrongbc)

HOCKEY

Second Cup for Surrey scout with NHL’s Lightning, but first time lifting the trophy

‘It’s special,’ says Grant Armstrong, who was in Tampa Bay to celebrate with the repeat champs

Grant Armstrong won a second Stanley Cup on Wednesday (July 7) but got to lift the silver mug for the very first time.

The South Surrey resident is a second-season amateur scout for repeat NHL champs Tampa Bay Lightning, and Armstrong got to celebrate with the team after a last-minute flight to the Florida city with his wife, Lezlie Armstrong.

“We got here an hour before gametime,” Armstrong said in a phone call Thursday (July 8).

“I’m a little weary because it was a late night, but well worth it. It’s special.”

After the Lightning’s win last season, Armstrong wasn’t able to be with the team during post-game celebrations in Edmonton, where playoff games were played in a pandemic-triggered “bubble.” Days later, travel restrictions prevented a flight to Tampa Bay for the Stanley Cup parade, and all Armstrong could do is watch at home on TV.

After Wednesday’s Cup-clinching game, the Armstrongs attended a private reception with players, team officials and family members.

“Last year, winning my first Cup was so unique and incredible,” Armstrong said, “but last night was so different, just being in the presence of it and getting to hoist it, something you dream of doing when you get involved in the game. There’s nothing like it.”

• RELATED STORY, from Sept 2020: Stanley Cup win for Surrey-based NHL scout who coached in North Delta.

Thursday plans for Armstrong included picking up his Cup ring from last year, with a second now earned.

He’s not yet sure if he’ll get to be with the Cup for a day this summer, as is tradition, or where he’d take it.

Earlier in the week, Armstrong attended Game 4 in Montreal, flew back to Vancouver, picked up Lezlie, drove to Seattle and then flew to Tampa Bay.

“The brain’s still a little foggy,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a lot of travel but I’m glad I’m here.”

Two years ago Armstrong signed as an amateur scout with the Lightning after working in scouting and management roles with three Western Hockey League (WHL) teams from 2007 to 2019.

Armstrong, 60, grew up in North Delta and later coached there as a parent of two hockey-playing sons, one of them being Global News broadcaster Jordan Armstrong.

His current job involves scouting junior players from B.C. to Manitoba., and his attention now turns to the NHL Entry Draft starting July 23.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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