Ramblers come close to breaking even

Dave Mathieson
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MHL Amherst Ramblers president Jim Henwood talked to 30 board members of the Amherst Ramblers, plus others, who came out for the Ramblers Annual General Meeting last night at the Royal Canadian Legion. 

AMHERST – The Maritime Hockey League Amherst Ramblers laid out their financial books and elected a new executive during their annual general meeting last night at the Royal Canadian Legion in Amherst.

“It was an excellent year as far as financials go,” said Ramblers treasurer Wayne Bishop during the meeting.

Regular season revenue was  $291,769 while expenses were $293,823, for a loss of Lost $2,054.

The team took in $104,829 during the playoffs and spent $61,031, making a profit of $43,798 during their seven game series win over the Yarmouth Mariners, and their six game series loss to the Truro Bearcats.

With all accounting done for the 2012-2013 season, Bishop said the team started out with a debt of $51,269 and presently owes about $6,000.

“Instead of owing $51,000 we made up $45,000 on the year,” said Bishop. “If we started at zero, we would have had about $40,000 in the bank. You cant’ do any better than that.”

Ramblers president Jim Henwood is happy with the direction the team is heading.

Before the finances were tabled, Henwood said, “After two successful seasons, both on and off the ice, Amherst is now the place that players want to be, something that has not happened since the (former coach and player, Bill) Riley Days.

He also thanked the team sponsor, CIBC Wood Gundy, for their continued support and said they have more sponsors on the verge of coming on board.

Two sponsors they’ve been courting in recent months are the Town of Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland County.

“We’re going aggressively after more sponsors,” said Henwood. “Instead of going out and asking firms for money, I think we’re better off to ask them to pay for hockey sticks or have one or two firms pay for our bus.”

After the financials were laid out, the team elected its executive for the 2013-2014 season.

Henwood was elected president but Ramblers assistant coach Jamie Matthews stepped aside as first vice president and was succeeded by last years second vice president Keith Blenkhorn.

Bill Chapman was then elected to replace Blenkhorn as the second vice-president.

Also not returning next year is Bishop.

Linda Duguay took over as treasurer after she was voted in for the coming season.

Also, Tonia Hyslop stepped aside as secretary and Roger Belliveau was voted in as the new secretary.

Directors for the coming season were also voted in. They are: Sharlene Carter-Earle, Billy J. Chapman, Wayne Corney, Walter Maltby, Andrew Reid, Roger White, Art Marks, Travis Saulnier, Don Canning and Beth Dobson.

The new executive came into effect immediately after the vote.

After the AGM was adjourned, Henwood said the team is almost perfect as to where they want to be financially.

“With regards to the regular season we were within $2,000 of breaking even. That is unreal,” said Henwood. “And the $43,000 we made in the playoffs was put against that $50,000 debt.”

Ramblers coach and general manager Jim Bottomley didn’t make the meeting and his contract is up on May 19.

“Our first priority is to sign a coach and general manager and get it out of the way as soon as possible,” said Henwood. “I’m sure Jim wants to come back and we’d certainly like to have him back.

“He came here two seasons ago and we’ve had 12 home games in the playoffs in the last two years,” added Henwood. “What he’s done from a financial point for the hockey club is unreal. He’s pulled off some real good deals and the outpouring of money has been minimal. He’s done a great job.”

Although Bottomley didn’t make it to the AGM he did send an e-mail, which was read by Hyslop to those in attendance.

The e-mail, in part, said:

“We are no longer considered to be in the bottom of the league standings and have earned respect, not only in the MHL, but across Canada,” said the e-mail.

Bottomley thanked all his staff and the staff at the rink, the exectutive, all the volunteers, Ramblers education advisor Ross Thompson, and he thanked the fans.

"No other rink has the character and atmosphere that this stadium has. Look out when the Ramblers win a championship."

He then said, “Yarmouth, Woodstock, Summerside and Truro constantly brought in players (during the 2012-2013 season) with a budget of $6,000-plus to make a run for it, while we continually added some players with the idea of going a long way, but with an eye to the future as well. Without the injuries to (Jacob) Conrad and (Jeff) MacPherson, and the suspension to (Robert) Davis we could still be playing.”







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