Stoughton loses exemption

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

Graham Freeman's in, Jeff Stoughton's out -- for now.

Because he was forced to change half of his team, Stoughton lost the exemption into the 2007 Safeway Select that goes to the defending Manitoba champ. His second, Garry Van Den Berghe, retired and his third, Jon Mead, took the year off. Stoughton attempted to maintain the exemption by listing Mead as his fifth man but that didn't pan out.

"So, we have to go and play in those wonderful zones," Stoughton said yesterday.

That Select berth will be added to the MCA's annual bonspiel.

Meanwhile, Virden's Graham Freeman will get the exemption into the Select as the top-ranked eligible CTRS point-getter, MCA executive director Ian Staniloff confirmed.

As the Sun first revealed, Ryan Fry has replaced Mead at third with Rob Fowler now at second, which Stoughton is hoping will add a fresh outlook.

"That's the whole idea," he said. "I mean, we had a long grind and to bring in a couple of young guys, especially Ryan -- he's been pumped up phoning me almost all the time -- we are really looking forward to the year."

The new foursome will play its first spiel at the Asham 8-Ender Open, Oct. 6-10.

NO FINE: Stoughton, by the way, won his appeal of the $1,000 fine that the CCA levied for certain conduct at last year's Brier.

"To this day, I'm still not too sure what their motive was but they're satisfied with an apology letter that I sent to the (CCA) official, and that was good," he said.

JETTING OFF: Former Canadian champion Jennfier Jones has welcomed back Dana Allerton to replace lead Georgina Wheatcroft and they open their season at an international spiel in Norway next week.

"We're just itching to get some games under our belt and Dana's really excited to start," Jones said. "That brings a level of excitement to us so it should be great."

BITERS: The CCA is expected to finally confirm here next week that the 2008 Brier has been awarded to Winnipeg ... CBC is also expected to announce soon that it will replace Sportsnet as the Grand Slam broadcaster until 2014.


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