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SBOTD #ThrowBackThursday: Riley Armstrong, Pro Hockey Player

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Welcome to Sports Babe of the Day #ThrowBackThursday! This week we’re bringing you an interview with the one and only Riley Armstrong. This funny guy was nice enough to help us out with this HILARIOUS interview in the spring of 2012.

Riley Armstrong, Pro Hockey Player, @rilesarmy on Twitter

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Hahaha, when we look at those pictures above we can’t help but laugh. Don’t get us wrong, Riley Armstrong has smokeshow written all over him, but the slight grin, the mischievous twinkle in his eyes and the bedhead flow has us convinced he’s a real beauty. Though we’ve never met, we just know after a date with this guy, our cheeks would hurt from smiling so much. And how much do you wish you were that cat in his lap? Riley is such a character that he was eager to be labeled Sports Babe Of The Day and to our delight, offered to do an interview with us!

The 27 year old Saskatchewan native began playing hockey at a young age, but actually concentrated more on figure skating as a child since his mom was a coach. Like his big brother Colby who now plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Riley’s focus shifted to hockey once he reached high school. It was there that he played AAA midget hockey with the Yorktown Mallers. During that time, he scored 44 goals and racked up 77 points in only 40 games – dang right son, that’s what we’re talking about! By 2002, Riley was playing for the Western Hockey League for the Kootenay Ice before being traded to the Everett Silvertips for the 2003/2004 season, where he scored 18 goals.

After signing with the San Jose Sharks’ organization as a free agent in September, 2004, right winger Riley spent several years between the Cleveland Barons and the Worcester Sharks. He finally made his NHL debut four years later in a win against the Phoenix Coyotes. Since then, Riley has played for the Abbotsford Heat and Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL, Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL, Barys Astana of the KHL and Augsberger Panthers of the DEL. While he may get around on the ice, rumor has it that when it comes to the ladies, Riley is a relationships kind of guy!

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That’s not the only rumor that’s circulated around Riley. Sadly, after the tragic plane crash last September involving the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, reports surfaced that Riley had been on the flight and was among the dead. Friends and family began to hear that he had died. Riley was actually fast asleep at home when media showed up to the Leafs’ locker room in an attempt to interview his brother Colby. Finally Riley awoke and able to reassure everyone that he was, in fact, safe in Saskatchewan.

Most recently Riley was playing for SaiPa of the SM-liiga in Finland, but suffered a very serious injury this month called Compartment Syndrome. (He had already submitted his interview prior to the injury.) Compartment Syndrome is basically when the leg muscles get too big and essentially outgrow the legs. Weird eh? You can listen to him talk about the injury by clicking here, on SN590. After undergoing surgery on both legs, Riley is done for the season, which is undoubtedly a disappointment to his Finnish fans. However, that just means some lucky lady can play nursemaid to this hockey hottie when he returns home to Canada next month!

If you ladies want to apply for the position, it couldn’t hurt to get to know Riley a little more, so get comfortable and prepare to smile as we bring you:

20 Questions With Riley Armstrong

(1.) When did you start playing hockey, and when did you decide to seriously pursue it? I started playing hockey when I was 5 but also figure skated til grade 10. I lost a competition which made me turn my focus to hockey when I was 16 and from there I took it serious and have enjoyed every second of it.

(2.) Do you have any unusual talents? I’m actually a good dancer. Been working on a few break dance moves in my spare time along with singing but I think I’m more the karaoke type.

(3.) Growing up, did you have a role model or someone who inspired you to be who you are? I’ve loved the Detroit Red Wings since I was little and I would have to say Steve Yzerman would be a role model. But then once my brother got good and started to move up I wanted to be like him.

(4.) Are you single, dating, or locked down? Single. Still waiting for a girl to sweep me off my feet, or do I need to sweep someone off their feet? Still trying to figure that one out.

(5.) In three words, how would your teammates describe you? Outgoing, funny, beauty.

(6.) Your older brother, Colby, plays for the Leafs. Is there a little friendly competition between you two? Maybe when we were younger but as we have grown up we have tried to push each other and try to learn from each other instead of beating each other up. I wouldn’t want his son Cruise asking his Dad why his eyes are black and his nose is bleeding!

(7.) You’re stranded on a deserted island. What 3 things do you have with you? Baby Oil, TV with Cable, Music

(8.) What’s in your DVD collection? Comedies and action – all Adam Sandler movies.

(9.) Is there a motto, saying, or core truth you try to live by? Well, just take life as it comes, and always keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. – Wayne Armstrong (dad).

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(10.) If we looked in your fridge right now, what would we find? Well I just opened it and there is milk, eggs, salad, juice, sandwich meat, mustard and ketchip.

(11.) You were almost on the ill-fated flight carrying the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team. What is it like to wake up that morning and learn that a lot of the world, including your brother, thought you had died? Crazy. One experience I will never forget. It was such a sad day in the hockey world but on my end I didn’t know I had so many people who cared about me. It was nice to receive so many text messages and calls. I hope I never have to go through one of those mornings again.

(12.) What songs get the most play on your iPod? 1. Hey Jude – The Beatles 2. Young Homie (X Factor) – Chris Rene 3. Joey – Sugarland.

(13.) A lot of our readers have crushes on you. What’s your idea of the perfect date? Wow! I didn’t know girls had crushes on me, they should call me! But I would say my perfect date would be a day event. An easy going lunch so you can get to know each other and be relaxed, then an afternoon filled with mini golf and batting cages. I would have to see if she has some athletic ability. Then go for an early dinner and some nice wine, then end with a walk along the Saskatchewan river!

(14.) What has been the hardest part about pursuing hockey as a career? What advice would you give to young kids with dreams of going pro? I would say getting cut from teams is the hardest. Most guys who are good never have never been cut from a team and it’s a knock to your ego, but those are the things that make you a better player and person. [My advice would be to] rise above that, keep your ego in check and keep working out, and things will work out. Just never give up.

(15.) Who are your favourite athletes and sports teams to watch? Colby Armstrong when he is playing and Crosby, and a lot of my friends on different NHL teams. I like to watch the San Jose Sharks since I have so many friends on that team.

(16.) How and where do you spend the off season? I spend my off season in Saskatoon, where I train at my sister’s (Tiffany Armstrong) new gym that opened last summer. It’s a nice city to spend some time with family and friends while I’m home. Now that Colby has been playing in Toronto, I have been spending more time there also.

(17.) If you weren’t playing hockey professionally, what would you be doing for a living? I have always wanted to be a cop or a firefighter, but now that I’m playing hockey I really want to get into coaching when I’m done.

(18.) What do you want to get out of 2012? Tough question….Since people are saying the world is going to end I guess I have to get married and somehow have a baby before it ends. But I’m really just excited for the new year and adventures and just see where this all takes me. I kinda just fly with the wind.

(19.) Who would YOU feature as Sports Babe Of The Day? Jere Mylyniemi, he plays on my hockey team in Finland.

(20.) What do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered as someone who is always happy and worked hard and just lived life!

Isn’t he such a gem? We love how he’s eager to plug his family’s ventures and that he considers his friends to be his favourite athletes. And who wouldn’t want to hit the mini-put with him while quoting Happy Gilmore lines?! He’s funny, he’s handsome, and he knows how to score – what more could a woman want? Be sure to give this guy a follow on Twitter at @rilesarmy and wish him well as he recovers from his surgeries. And hey, Riley, you may be a right winger but you’re the center in our hearts, babe.

(AUTHOR: @missydeyo)

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