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Bill Armstrong brings Stanley Cup to backyard party in Richmond Hill

St. Louis Blues' assistant GM, Stanley Cup centre of attention
August 26, 2019
Steve Somerville

What a hat trick for Bill Armstrong -- a Memorial Cup, a Calder Cup and now a Stanley Cup.

The Richmond Hill-born-and-raised Armstrong is assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting with the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

He brought the revered cup to a house party in north Richmond Hill Aug. 21. It was the second showing of the glitzy, heralded trophy in the city after Blues star goalie, Jordan Binnington, paraded it around town.

After playing in the Richmond Hill minor system, Armstrong joined the Ontario Hockey League’s Toronto Marlboros, and later the Hamilton Dukes and Oshawa Generals. The six-foot-five Armstrong was a rugged, stay-at-home style defenceman who didn’t score a lot.

As fate would have it, he took a simple wrist shot from the point that slipped past three defenders and into the back of the net to win the Memorial Cup for Oshawa in the second overtime period in the 1990 championship final against the Kitchener Rangers.

Richmond Hill National Training Rinks’ co-owner Rick Cornacchia was that team’s head coach. Future NHL star Eric Lindros was also on that team. Armstrong is still chided by friends and acquaintances about what became a legendary goal.

"That was once in a lifetime, but this is great now," Armstrong said, while busily high-fiving and hugging his many admirers at the festive backyard party.

Armstrong is an alumnus of Bayview Secondary School and several school chums and hockey friends were at the party.

A third-round pick of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, Armstrong played his entire career in the American and International hockey leagues before turning to coaching and management in the American and East Coast leagues.

He won the AHL’s Calder Cup championship with Providence in 1999 as assistant coach.

Eventually, the Blues summoned him to their management team, where he rose through their ranks and was instrumental in creating the now-champion team and winning the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup.