Burtnyk back in business

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

Bubba will be back on the ice next year.

Assiniboine Memorial's Kerry (Bubba) Burtnyk confirmed yesterday that he will return to the competitive scene after taking this season off.

"It's official," Burtnyk told the Sun. "Hopefully, it will work out for a number of reasons."

Burtnyk, 47, was motivated by watching 50-year-old Russ Howard win an Olympic gold medal with Newfoundland's young Brad Gushue.

"It was certainly an inspiration to see the old guard have some success," said Burtnyk, who lost the 2001 trials final to Alberta's Kevin Martin. "There's no question I missed it when I was watching the Olympic trials, the Brier, the (Safeway) Select and the Grand Slams on TV.

"But I also enjoyed not curling and seeing what it was like, and spending some time with my family."

Burtnyk will go with a younger lineup with an eye towards the 2009 trials.

"Right now, we'll go at it a step at a time and see how it goes the next year or two," Burtnyk said. "But there is a possibility that we could try to take a run at the (2010) Vancouver Olympics."

Burtnyk has recruited Dan Kammerlock to play third and Richard Daneault to play second but is still seeking a lead. Kammerlock, who was one of the top junior skips until he graduated last year, is the son of Ron Kammerlock, who played lead for Burtnyk when he won the 1981 Brier.

"He's obviously a good, young curler and a very mature young guy," Burtnyk said. "And he throws tuck like I do.

"I wanted to recruit some younger guys with a lot of upside, like Gushue or (Alberta's) Randy Ferbey and his guys, or (Alberta's) Kevin Martin and (Carter) Rycroft."

Burtnyk decided to take last season off after just missing to qualify for the 2005 trials at least twice the year before -- losing games to B.C.'s Pat Ryan and Alberta's John Morris that could have qualified him.

Meanwhile, Burtnyk took exception to the way Quebec's Jean-Michel Menard was treated just after winning the Brier in Regina.

"The Quebec team was celebrating and you could see them on TV trying to get to their wives in the stands and the (Canadian Curling Association) stopped them," he said.

'TERRIBLE'

"I thought that was terrible. TV went to commercial anyway. That's why they (CCA) sometimes get a bad reputation. They don't stop Tiger Woods from doing that, do they?"

That was the reason the crowd was booing after the game was over, not because Quebec had won as some have suggested.

BITERS: Ron Kammerlock will be running the ninth annual junior cashspiel at the Assiniboine once again this weekend (details to follow) ... The national university curling championships start at Asham Arena today, with a field that includes Select runner-up Reid Carruthers (University of Winnipeg), Sam Owen (Manitoba) and Steve Laycock (Saskatchewan).


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