The look of the Saskatchewan men's curling season this fall will be one of the most changed probably in recent years. The biggest change was announced Wednesday by Team Laycock, where former skip and fourth player, Pat Simmons departed for Alberta's Kevin Koe and has now been replaced by Joel Jordison. Skip, Steve Laycock in an interview with Saskcurl.com Wednesday said that after Simmons left the team, they began the process of looking for someone that would fit in with the reigning Provincial Men's Curling Champions.
Laycock, along with front end, Brennan Jones and Dallan Muyres wanted to find someone that was a high calibre player and also compatible with the squad. "We looked around and went to the top of the list and even went through the process like a job interview with the help of a sports psychologist." Laycock says "Joel was a good fit on almost evey count. We're very excited about it."
Laycock says he will be a full fledged skip by calling the game and throwing last rocks with Jordison playing third. "I don't think our style of game will change too much. I like to play a little bit more aggressive and I think it will be a bit easier for me to call the game and throw last rock" said Laycock. The former World Junior Champion skip says although the team has still three of the original four players, adding a new face like Jordison will allow a fresher look at things. "There won't be any old ideas."
The team plans to hit the ice hard this fall having secured a spot in the Canada Cup. With a berth to the Olympic Trials on the line for the winner of the Canada Cup the squad wants to take advantage of some resources it will have at its disposal. "The National Training Program is something we plan to do and this will help us out a lot." They also hope to have enough points to qualify for the five Grand Slams on the World Curling Tour.
As far as a home club, Laycock says he's still not sure where they will end up. He says it is something they still need to discuss but would not be surprised if they played out of Saskatoon. The reason the team played at the Tartan Curling Club in Regina was because of Club Manager and friend of Jones, Scott Comfort. However with Comfort leaving this spring from the Tartan and putting down roots in Wadena, the link to the Regina club is no longer there.
The departure of Jordison from his team of Jason Jacobson, Josh Heidt and Brock Montgomery has everyone scrambling. Jacobson and Montgomery have apparently joined forces with Darrell McKee and Clint Dieno in a new rink to be skipped by McKee. The breakup of McKee from Bruce Korte and company means Korte will take over as skip with long time third from the Brian Humble team, Dean Kleiter moving into the third position with Roger Korte at second and Rob Markowsky at lead.
With the Brier being staged in Saskatoon in 2012, Korte is planning on making another run at the Brier since Saskatoon seems to be his favourite place to play the Canadian Men's Championship. The last two times the Brier was held in Saskatoon in 2000 and 2004, Korte was the Saskatchewan representative in the event.
With Kleiter leaving the Humble foursome, it ends one of the longest formed men's team in the province. The team of Humble, Kleiter, Terry Hersikorn and Kerry Tarasoff joined forces twelve years ago and lost a Tankard Final in 2003. There is still no decision on the replacement of Kleiter on that team.