Story by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, BC (ISN) – The recently renamed South Island Major Midget Royals hockey club announced today that Victoria native Geoff Grimwood has been named Head Coach of the team.

Grimwood comes to the Royals after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the British Columbia Hockey League’s (BCHL) Powell River Kings. During the two seasons in Powell River, Grimwood helped the team to a record of 86-25-5 and back-to-back appearances in the Fred Page Cup Final.

“Geoff brings experience and passion to the South Island Royals,” Victoria Royals General Manager Cameron Hope said. “He has been a successful coach at various levels and is the type of leader we want to guide this team. Geoff will also have a role with the Victoria Royals as a member of head coach Dave Lowry’s staff.”

geoffgrimwoodIn an interview with ISN, Grimwood noted, “This was really an opportunity that I couldn’t say no to.  I’ve always felt the Major Midget program in the South Island had a lot of potential, and now with the Royals affiliating the Major Midget team with their WHL program, there is even more potential to run a great program.  I am excited to be a part of it and can’t wait to get going.” 

“The benefits of being a part of both the South Island and Victoria Royals will be of great benefit to the players in our system” added Grimwood.  “Having the midget players, as well as the entire club, supported by a WHL Franchise is going to elevate the level of the entire program.”

Before his time in Powell River, the Victoria, BC native spent four years split between the Peninsula Panthers and Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). With the Panthers for the 2009-10 season as Head Coach and General Manager, he led the team to a 38-6-2-2 record and a league championship. Grimwood spent three years from 2006-07 through 2008-09 as an associate coach with the Victoria Cougars. During those four seasons, the Cougars racked up a record of 107-23-2-12 as well as back-to-back VIJHL championships in 2007 and 2008. The team also claimed the BC Championship Cyclone Taylor Cup for the 2007 year.

“I loved my time in Powell River and was not looking to leave there, but when this opportunity came up, it was hard to turn down” noted Grimwood.  “I also have a lot of family that still resides here in Victoria so obviously it was a good opportunity to come home and continue my coaching career close to home and in front of my friends and family.”

While the Royals earlier in the day announced that one of the direct links between the parent club and the Major Midget team would be through the assignment of one of the WHL Royals’ assistant coaches to the head coaching role of the South Island Royals, Grimwood was hesitant to confirm yet that he will in fact be a formal assistant coach with the WHL team.  “At this point all I know is that there will be a position for me on Dave Lowry’s staff, and that I will be working for the Victoria Royals in a ‘to be determined’ role. I suspect they are waiting to announce that officially until they line-up any additional staff, so that they can announce that all at once.”

As to the on-ice product, when asked what steps Grimwood would begin to take to improve upon the South Island’s dismal 3 win season in 2011-2012, Grimwood noted that he will be starting with a clean slate this season. “I am going into this with a totally open mind, and whether it is kids who were on the team last year, or kids who were cut last year, or kids who previously were not interested in the program, I am encouraging anyone who is interested in the program to come to the tryouts.  I will be treating it as an absolute open slate for everyone.  Of course I have a good idea of who some of the top players will be, but I don’t want to overlook anyone.  I am really going into this with a open mind and no pre-determined ideas about the team and who will play on it.  It is realy open ended and pretty exciting!”

Registration has already begun for the 2012-13 South Island Royals BC Major Midget Evaluation Camp, which will be held August 9-12, 2012 with the locations and times yet to be determined. Interested participants must register before July 31, 2012 to ensure their spot in the camp. To register please visit

“I have no idea yet how many people have registered yet for the camp” noted Grimwood, “but based on numbers from last year I think we can expect anywhere from 60-70 kids.  We will probably have 4 teams, but given the new affiliation and the interest it may spawn, it might be bigger than that.”

New Website and Director of Communications

In addition to the announcement of Grimwood as head coach, the South Island Royals also announced the launch of their website and social media platforms, as well as that Bryden Burrell has been named as the team’s Director of Communications.

The new will be the latest place to get all the news surrounding the South Island Royals. The website will feature an easy to use interface that will allow users to find their information easily.

“We believe its important to create a hub for South Island players and fans to access information about the team and the league,” Victoria Royals General Manager Cam Hope said. “This website will be managed with the same professionalism that we manage, as we all understand the importance of current information in today’s world.”

The Royals will also be live on Facebook and Twitter. The South Island Royals Hockey Club fan page on Facebook ( will give fans all the latest news and scores from Victoria’s inaugural season in the BC Major Midget league. Fans can also follow the Royals on Twitter at, to receive up to the minute updates regarding everything involved with the team.

Burrell will take the reins as the team’s Director of communications after spending the last two years as the communication coordinator for the Victoria Royals and the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL. Burrell will now hold roles with both the major midget team and the WHL team.

““We are very pleased to have Bryden step up and take the role of Director of Communications for the South Island Royals,” Hope said. “His experience with us so far will be an asset for the major midget team, and this opportunity will also allow Bryden to continue his growth and development within the field of communications.”

Burrell currently attends Camosun College, where he is entering his third year working towards a bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Leadership.