Sunday, March 23, 2014

Free Press: Stoughton team calls it quits

Another domino has fallen.

According to some Tweets from Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press, Jeff Stoughton’s team will curl its final two cash events and then disband. Third Jon Mead is apparently unsure about his curling future while second/lead Mark Nichols is moving back to Newfoundland and Labrador. No word on Reid Carruthers. 

While this move was expected, it’s still a bit of a shock to hear it come to reality. Stoughton’s team has been one of the best over the last four-year cycle but it wasn’t able to get that prized Olympic berth.

Earlier this year, the skip told me that he would not go through another four-year Olympic cycle but that the possibility of curling another year or maybe even coming in at the end of the next Olympic run – a la Russ Howard – was a possibility.

With this move, the Big Four teams from the last half decade or so -- Stoughton, Kevin Koe, Glenn Howard and Kevin Martin -- have now all made changes. Earlier this week, it was reported that Howard second Brent Laing was moving to Alberta to play with Koe, that Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert would switch from Martin to Koe, and now the Stoughton team has wound up things. 

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