With all the focus on Olympic curling and the start of the national Scott Tournament of Hearts this weekend, there will be little attention directed towards the ill-timed Grand Slam event in St. John's, N.L., that begins today.
But the cashspiel will feature an interesting competition among three of the Manitoba teams there. Now that Jeff Stoughton will get the exemption into next year's Safeway Select awarded to the defending champ, the race for the exemption given to Manitoba's top Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) foursome has been thrown open. That, of course, is assuming that the Manitoba Curling Association will continue to offer that exemption to the top CTRS squad.
Cash some cheques
Dave Boehmer currently leads that race but will not be in St. John's. Right on his tail are Graham Freeman, Ryan Fry and Vic Peters, who are there. Fry has also qualified for the Players' Championship while both Freeman and Peters need to cash some cheques this weekend to get there.
Mike McEwen, by the way, has temporarily replaced Kyle Werenich at third for Fry this weekend.
Stoughton will use the event as a tune-up for next month's Brier in Regina.
INDUCTEES: Manitoba's Barry Greenberg (executive honour roll) has been inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame, the Canadian Curling Association announced yesterday. Joining the former CCA president in the hall are: Wally Ursuliak (curler/builder); Lindsay Sparkes (team); Lindsay Sparkes and Robin Wilson (builders); and Vic Rauter and Laurie Artiss (media).
Saskatchewan's Sam Richardson will also get the President's Recognition Award while B.C.'s Al Kersey will receive Award of Achievement. Yukon/ N.W.T.'s Suzanne Bertrand was named Volunteer of the Year.
BITERS: Whispers are that the speculated $100,000 profit for the Select in Steinbach reported here previously may have been a gross exaggeration ... Reid Carruthers, who was the surprise Select finalist in his first year out of junior, has already made a change to his team. Justin Richter will replace Derek Samagalski at second next season ... the national stick curling championship starts in Grand Marais tomorrow.