Westport hockey fans seem to have been caught off guard by this week’s announcement that the owners of the Westport Rideaus have decided to terminate the team’s general manager and his entire staff.
The move was announced by the team’s owners July 6 in a brief statement posted on Facebook and Twitter, reading: “Effective immediately, Glenview Sports Entertainment (owners of the Smiths Falls Bears and Westport Rideaus) have terminated the services/relationship with GM/HC Mike “Bundy” Seed, as well as his entire staff of the Rideaus. More to follow.”
No further explanation from the owners has yet been provided. Joshua and Nick Filoso of Ottawa purchased both the Westport Rideaus and the Smiths Falls Bears in 2018 from previous owner Chris Cassell. Glenview Sports Entertainment is named after Cassell’s company Glenview Iron & Metal.
Reaction from current and former players, their families, and other members of the community has been swift.
Team sponsor and local grocery store owner Neil Kudrinko stated on his Facebook page that, “As a lifelong booster of local sports I can’t express how angry I am with the Filoso family right now.” He also expressed fear that the owners might be planning to move the Rideaus to Smiths Falls.
Commenting on the announcement on the Rideaus’ Facebook page, Ty Nicholson said he had played for Seed and his staff for the past four years and was looking forward to a fifth season. “To see them treated this way and be sent off with a post like this is just sickening,” he added.
“Sad news for Bundy, team, staff, community and the hockey players past and present,” said Mike Hudson. “Legendary commitment to a team for so many years deserves better.”
Seed, a native of Franktown, has been associated with the Westport Rideaus since 1995, when he served as an assistant coach under former head coach Jeff Snow. He took over as general manager in the 2000-2001 season. He was recognized by the Central Canada Hockey League Tier 2, to which the Rideaus belong, as Coach of the Year for the 2018-2019 season. At that time, Josh Filoso stated that “Bundy is a first class GM and overall first class guy… In Westport, Bundy is not only the GM but the go to man for everything the Rideaus do, and he does a fantastic job doing so.”
The Westport Rideaus were founded in 1967, and are affiliated with the Smiths Falls Bears of the Central Canada Hockey League.