Ramblers terminate contract with Bottomley

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In the market for a new head coach

The Amherst Ramblers have terminated their contact with coach Jim Bottomley.

The Amherst Ramblers have decided to terminate their contract with head coach Jim Bottomley (centre).

AMHERST – It was not something Jim Bottomley was expecting after taking his Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers to the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

“I’m very disappointed and a bit surprised. I wasn’t expecting it,” Bottomley said Thursday after learning his two-year contract with the Ramblers was being terminated after one season. “I was looking forward to next season and Tim (Ripley) and I had already started talking about where we were going this year.”

The move comes two weeks after the Ramblers were eliminated in the Eastlink Division semifinal series in seven games by the Weeks Crushers. The Crushers were swept in four games by the Truro Bearcats in the divisional final.

The Ramblers finished third in the division with a 31-18-1-2 record during the regular season.

Last year, after the Ramblers were eliminated in six games in the division final, the executive decided not to renew Bottomley’s contract, but after some last-minute negotiations came to an agreement on a new two-year deal.

Bottomley is hoping to stay in hockey and would like coach again in the MHL.

“I liked my experience in Amherst, the people there treated me so good. We had three good years and I was looking forward to a fourth. We came so close the last three years after being out of it for so long. The town deserves a winner and the sooner the better,” Bottomley said.

When he was first hired three years ago, Bottomley said he wanted to build a winning attitude in Amherst and he was starting to see that in how players wanted to come to the Ramblers’ organization.

“When I first got there it was hard to get players to come, now we get players from across Canada who want to come to Amherst,” Bottomley said.

Rambler president Jim Henwood confirmed early Thursday that the club has terminated its contract Bottomley.

“This is a business decision, it’s not based on his performance or the team’s performance,” Henwood said. “We can no longer afford to pay his travel expenses back and forth to Halifax. If Jim lived in Amherst we wouldn’t be having this conversation, he’d be coaching this team for many years to come.”

In making the announcement Henwood said ticket revenue was down $90,000 to $95,000 this year and it was costing approximately $17,000 a year to bring him back and forth from the city.

Henwood said the executive is considering a couple of candidates and will officially begin the search for a new coach and general manager. He would like to have someone in place for the draft in June, but if not will put people in place to conduct the draft for the club.

“One thing we will be requiring is that the next coach live within the greater Amherst area,” he said. “It could be in the Town of Amherst or Cumberland County but he has to be in the area.”

Stephen Maltby of the Maltby-Casey Group said he was disappointed with the decision.

“We were disappointed to hear this decision as we had no discussion or contact the past month with the team current executive with regards to this termination,” Maltby said later Thursday. “We have had a great two-year contract with the team which has expired and were presently discussing a one year renewal which we based on the current xoach and supporting cast. We were extremely happy with Jimbo, Tim Ripley, Jamie Matthews, Willie Boyle and the strong supporting cast - which we felt were the strongest part of the operation. We will review our position and decide if we will participate in the future. Our firm and my related businesses have been a big supporter of the Ramblers and the community and we wish to associate with a well run team.”

Maltby said that if the local organization does not have the financial capacity to run the team they should agree to transfer the franchise to a new group who can raise funds to run the team.

“It is difficult time to run a team and I know everyone for the most part are volunteers, but they do need a competent full-time coach,” Maltby said. “Jim brought with him some additional support and respect that I believe the current executive did not fully appreciate. From the outside looking in there was poor communication between the executive and coach. It is a tough league with most teams well funded and very competitive so we are fortunate to even be able to have a team in a small town"


Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers

Geographic location: AMHERST

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Recent comments

  • Vince Kennie
    April 12, 2014 - 12:15

    Having read all the comments that are questioning the move of relieving Jimbo from the coaching/general managers position, I also wonder what the heck is going on. Jimbo was/is a crowd favourite and to have him heading up the trio of coaches (including himself) speaks for itself. The fans really like to have Bottomley behind the bench and to remove him now, may turn a lot of loyal Rambler fans away.

  • wingman
    April 12, 2014 - 11:07

    Worst move they could have made. Players wanted to play here with a name coach. Jim had lots of connections, but there are some on the executive that don't care about having a competitive team all they want is local players and we can't compete with local players and fans won't support a losing team. See if Bottomley will come back. back

  • Terry White
    April 11, 2014 - 15:41

    Can't comment on the reason for termination. However Jim Tim Jamie by far best coaching trio in the league hands down.

  • Tunafish
    April 11, 2014 - 05:56

    I don't understand how they could afford to pay all this money for Crockers rent when he was coaching but they can't afford too pay for jimbo to travel back and forth and he actually did something with the team. It almost seems like the someone is trying to sabotage the team a sad day in the border town indeed.

  • criss sarson
    April 11, 2014 - 00:44

    if bottomley is gone is it true he still gets paid for his second year of his contract?? if so doesn't that defeat the purpose!!

    April 10, 2014 - 18:44

    Funniest thing I've heard in long time, thanks JUNEBUG...LOL

  • Chris Morash
    April 10, 2014 - 17:34

    First the Leafs crush whats left of my soul and now this......

  • Go figure.
    April 10, 2014 - 16:47

    Last year they fired Bottomley for about one day and people went ballistic. Henwood then signed Bottomley to a two-year contract and, afterwards, Henwood said that, to pay the bills, the team will need more fans to come out to support the team. Fans said they would support their Ramblers, instead, numbers were down. Go figure.

  • Jack on the Rocks
    April 10, 2014 - 13:58

    I really hope the Rams Toonie Draw raises them BIG money over the summer...they may need it without a major sponsor......

    April 10, 2014 - 13:54

    Jimbo will coach Yarmouth to a league title next season, you heard it here 1st RAM fans!

    • donrich
      April 11, 2014 - 14:03

      I hope your right Mariners need Jimbo

  • Laughable
    April 10, 2014 - 13:28

    It appears that executives were the only ones in Amherst not to realize what Jim brought with him to the organization. The potential to lose a major sponsor and they call this a smart buisness decision. Jim Bottomley brought back pride to our community team, too bad that may now be lost again for the humpteen time in the ramblers history. Poor buisness decision- sad day for the ramblers

  • ram fan
    April 10, 2014 - 12:56

    Biggest mistake the ex. could ever make,they will see it when it is to late,shamefull the way they have treated jimbo,this coach will never be replaced no matter who they hire,jmbo is the best thing that ever happened to this team,sad ram fan.

    April 10, 2014 - 10:27

    Just heard that the Ramblers executive is meeting with Riley later this week to make him an offer of half of what he was being paid in 89-90 when he coached the champs!

  • Mike
    April 10, 2014 - 10:12

    It's expensive to take a family to see a rams game. I'm a supporter and have season tickets but it isn't cheap. Maybe if the complaint is about revenues down then drop the pricing to bring in more people. Have better options of five and ten game flex passes. Minor hockey nights and different promos. Hate to see jimbo go, but you can't play three lines in the playoffs. Gonna miss Jim and all his connections.