The curling free-agent frenzy is heating up with a flurry of main groups asserting Wednesday they plan to separate up after the season ends.
Staff Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is breaking apart with skip Brad Jacobs taking a hiatus from aggressive curling. Third Marc Kennedy, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden plan to proceed enjoying subsequent season.
Jacobs joined forces with the Harnden brothers, who’re additionally his cousins, in 2008. Collectively they’ve gained the 2014 Olympic gold medal, 2013 Brier and 7 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling males’s championships. They completed runners-up to Brad Gushue’s staff on the Olympic trials within the fall.
Kennedy, who captured Olympic gold in 2010 with skip Kevin Martin, linked up with Staff Jacobs forward of the 2019-20 marketing campaign, and the staff gained three consecutive GSOC titles that season. The St. Albert, Alta., native additionally served as Gushue’s alternate final month on the Beijing Winter Olympics and earned a bronze medal.
“We knew that in some unspecified time in the future this time would come and as onerous as it’s, it’s on nice phrases — our curling journey is ending, however we’ll at all times be a part of one another’s private journey shifting ahead and that’s most necessary to us all,” the staff stated in an announcement.
Staff Koe lead Ben Hebert already indicated his Calgary membership deliberate to amicably break up after the season they usually made it official Wednesday.
Skip Kevin Koe and Hebert have performed collectively since 2014. Third B.J. Neufeld, who’s from Winnipeg, got here on board 4 years later together with Colton Flasch at second. The staff gained the Brier and silver on the worlds in 2019 throughout their first season collectively.
“It has been an unbelievable run collectively,” Koe stated in an announcement. “We have made a ton of recollections not simply on podiums however off the ice the 4 of us got here into this as pals and we’re leaving as pals and that is all you’ll be able to ask.”
John Morris changed Flasch the next season — throwing second and dealing with vice skip duties — and the staff completed runners-up in back-to-back Briers.
Morris, who’s a two-time Olympic gold medallist, additionally introduced he is retiring from males’s curling. The 43-year-old from Canmore, Alta., lately represented Canada in blended doubles with Rachel Homan on the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Change can be underway within the ladies’s division with skip Tracy Fleury and her staff from East St. Paul, Man., going their separate methods.
Third Selena Njegovan, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCuish beforehand performed along with skip Kerri Einarson and linked up with Fleury, from Sudbury, Ont., in 2018. They gained the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling’s Masters event in 2019 and 2021 and completed runners-up to Jennifer Jones’s staff from Winnipeg on the Olympic trials within the fall.
“We’re so grateful to have performed collectively for the final 4 years,” the staff wrote in an announcement. “There have been loads of nice wins, many laughs and a few ups and downs, however we could not be extra pleased with what we completed collectively as a staff all through all of it.”
The dominoes started falling within the ladies’s division late final month with Ottawa’s Staff Homan asserting lead Joanne Courtney was stepping again from aggressive curling whereas Staff Jones stated Monday they’re going to be parting methods with lead Daybreak McEwen retiring.
In the meantime, Staff Gushue is in limbo as second Brett Gallant is planning to maneuver to Alberta with fiancée Jocelyn Peterman, previously of Staff Jones. Lead Geoff Walker, who lives in Alberta, is already the import on Staff Gushue and present residency guidelines stop golf equipment from having a couple of except that participant was born within the area.
Two Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling occasions will wrap up the season with the Princess Auto Gamers’ Championship (April 12-17 at Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto) adopted by the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup (Could 3-8 on the Olds Sportsplex in Olds, Alta.)