Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Alberta in turmoil

Once the rumours were confirmed – see yesterday's TCN Blogpost, below – the discussions burst forth, and there's more fallout today.

There’s a free on-screen interview with workmates – and new teammates – Kevin Martin (photo) and Marc Kennedy available on the CurlTV homepage... Martin also spoke to the ConMan... and Kevin Koe has confirmed that he in talks with another Edmonton skip, Blake MacDonald – he throws skip stones, but doesn’t call the game – which would further damage the men’s competitive scene in Calgary. Note the above story, scribbled once again by TCN wizard Allen Cameron, also reveals that Bob Ursel and Jim Cotter have joined forces in B.C., and that Mark Dacey’s 2004 Brier championship squad is in fact sticking together for the 2006-07 campaign.

In Saskatchewan, the departing Ben Hebert has spoken out, while former world junior champion skip (and Hebert teammate) Steve Laycock has been announced as Hebert’s replacement. Laycock has already played lead for Pat Simmons once before – with Hebert at second – at the first Grand Slam of last season, The National in Port Hawkesbury, where the squad lost the final to Toronto's Wayne Middaugh.

Said Hebert to RLP curling scribe Murray McCormick:

We had three good years together, they were my best friends and they will be for the rest of my life. They know it was a career move and I just didn't quit their team for no reason. I was moving for work and it turned out fortunate for me that I got on a really great team.

Sometimes life takes you funny places. It worked out well for everyone and they got a good player to fill my shoes.

Alberta may be (arguably) the place to live – and curl – and the 2007 Kia Cup provincial men's final is certainly going to be a doozy. And new import Mike Harris – yes, he of 1998 Olympic and CBC commentary fame – may still change his mind and decide to compete once he heads west. There's a sendoff for Harris in west-end Toronto this coming Saturday night at 7:30pm...

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