MacEachern leaves club
The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers could have Jim Bottomley back behind the bench this weekend.
© Jason Simmonds - TC Media
Wade Kropp throws a check in recent MHL action against the Miramichi Timberwolves. The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers have acquired the former Summerside Western Capitals' defenceman over the weekend, giving the club more depth on the blueline.
AMHERST – Jim Bottomley could be back behind the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers’ bench as early as this weekend.
The veteran coach, who has been out of commission for several weeks after undergoing surgery in Halifax, is hoping to rejoin the team and could be behind the bench on Saturday when the Ramblers host the Kentville Wildcats.
“I’m looking forward to getting back,” Bottomley said Tuesday. “It was great to see the boys at the funeral on Saturday and to watch them play. They’re a great group of kids and I have a lot of respect for them and we’re going to do great things together.”
Bottomley returns to a team that suffered its first lost in five games on Saturday – a 3-1 setback to the Pictou Weeks Crushers in Maritime Junior Hockey League action.
In that game, Tyler Doyle had a goal and an assist and Evan MacEachern and Garret Holmes each had single goals.
Shawn Wright replied for the Ramblers in the game’s final minute, spoiling Brandon Thibeau’s shutout bid.
Bottomley said he was impressed with the effort on Saturday, but disappointed in the play of several veterans who he feels aren’t willing to pay the price to score goals.
“We have some older guys who should be playing better than they are. They are comfortable in their position and I don’t like that. They need to compete better and want to win more than they are,” Bottomley said. “They need to be emptying the tank every time they go out there. They have to pay the price to win.”
The veteran coach said he was disappointed in the undisciplined play of several players, who put themselves before the team and took some bad penalties. It’s something he plans to address with those players.
Bottomley confirmed the Ramblers have lost forward Damon MacEachern, who only had one assist in eight games with the club after being acquired at the draft from Kentville.
“He wanted to stay here and play but his father has taken him home because he didn’t feel he was getting enough minutes with the club,” Bottomley said. “It’s disappointing because I had high hopes for Damon. Unfortunately he didn’t come to camp in shape, but was working hard to get himself in shape. He had lots of opportunities in the exhibition games and was on the top two lines early in the season, but he fell down the depth chart and was in and out of the lineup.”
Bottomley said he has talked to a couple of teams about moving MacEachern.
The Ramblers have added defenceman Wade Kropp in a trade with the Summerside Western Capitals.
“He gives us a lot more depth on the blueline and is someone who could be here for three years,” Bottomley said of the Russell, Ont. native who turns 18 in November. “He’s a big, steady stay-at-home defenceman.”
The Ramblers will also be without goalie Chase Marchand for a week. Marchand has been called up by the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. In his place, the Ramblers have recalled goalie Rowan O’Brien from major midget.
The Ramblers, who also defeated the Kentville Wildcats 4-3 on John Deacon’s overtime winner on Friday, are on the road this Friday travelling to Woodstock to meet the Slammers before hosting the Wildcats on Saturday.