The morning after winning a second consecutive Stanley Cup, Coldstream’s Stacey Roest was back at Amelie Arena in Tampa Bay for staff meetings.
Roest is the assistant general manager for the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, who blanked the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 Wednesday, July 7, at home, to win the franchise’s third Stanley Cup title in five games.
“There’s a quick turnaround with the expansion draft (for the Seattle Kraken) and the entry draft (July 23 and 24) and as the man who looks after the team in Syracuse (Lightning’s top farm team), I’ve got a lot of free agents to try and re-sign,” said Roest after dinner in Tampa on Thursday, July 8. “It was a good night last night, got some sleep and then back to work.”
Roest has played a part in the development of Tampa Bay superstars, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (Conn Smythe Trophy winner as NHL playoff Most Valuable Player in 2021, who also shut out the Dallas Stars 2-0 in the Cup clincher in 2020), leading scorers Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, and role players Janni Gourde, Tyler Johnson and Ross Colton, who scored the game-winner Wednesday.
“Ross is such an awesome story,” said Roest. “He started the year in Syracuse and worked his tail off. We laughed in the dressing room Wednesday about how far he’d come. He killed it early in the year, was called up and never came back. Those are the stories I love.”
The Lightning became the first team since the 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins to win back-to-back Cups. This one would have been tough for Roest’s late father, Dick, to watch, as his dad was a big-time Montreal Canadiens fan.
“It would have been difficult for him but he would know the hard work I’ve put in to get where I am and he’d have been happy and rooting for me,” said Roest, who was joined in Tampa by two-thirds of his immediate family, wife Billie and daughter Graci. Son Austin, a member of the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips, remained home to continue training.
Asked to compare the two Cup wins, Roest said the first one, while always exciting, was completely different as the team played in the NHL bubble system in front of no fans and celebrated only with players and staff in the organization.
“This one, family and friends were there, 20,000 fans were in the building, and then we’re on the ice getting the trophy,” he said. “I got to hold the Cup. It’s always a dream to lift it.”
Roest nor anybody with the Lightning got to enjoy a day with the Cup – the annual Stanley Cup off-season tradition – in 2020 due to COVID. The tradition is expected to resume at some point in 2021.