Cochrane, Steski left out

JOE PAVIA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

The merger of Ottawa's dream team has gone through -- just without Bryan Cochrane and John Steski.

The new-look Howard Rajala team will feature third Chris Fulton and second Jeff Henderson, who each played their respective positions for Team Cochrane, and Craig Cordiner as lead.

Henderson is a bit of a surprise as he had previously cited work and family commitments as a factor in leaving the competitive battles next season.

"My earlier decision was not due to a lack of competitive drive," said Henderson, "but rather work changes (which have now recently been shelved) and family."

But since Henderson will be playing alongside Howard, who happens to be his brother-in-law, his family seems okay with him returning to the ice.

Cochrane, in the meantime, now plays the single act.

"I am getting used to the idea that I will not be on the men's competitive circuit next year."

Steski, who played lead for Team Cochrane, is disappointed for his former skip.

"The best skip in the area isn't even playing next year," said Steski. "There's no local team that will go anywhere, nor are there any young guys coming up."

AROUND THE RINKS: Willie Jeffries, just back from a 'spiel in Prague, has made some changes. His front end, consisting of Brian Vance and Nick Aubin, is no more. Sliding in at lead is Keith Coulthard and second is Matt Paul. Spencer Cooper retains the vice spot ... Mark Homan's boys are all free agents after Homan decided to move to Montreal. His second, Chris Delage, may not move to Alberta, so a fresh skip has the makings of a good team with Delage, Pierre Harvey and T.J. Connolly all available. Despite rumours, Homan wants to play for a competitive Montreal rink ... Chris Gardner added some fresh faces with third Wes Johnson (formerly of Team Epping), second Brad Kidd and lead Sean Harrison (Neil's son) ... The Ken Campbell rink is looking for a leader as their skip has found some new priorities in life. Terry Scharf and Ron Hrycak are looking to land spots, while their lead R.J. Johnson gives junior curling a final whirl with a team yet to be determined ... J.P. Lachance has made good progress on his new team but nothing is official yet. Skip Jeff McCrady is still forming a squad while his former third, Gilles Allaire, is looking to skip a team ... On the western Quebec side of the river, Jean-Sebastien Roy is sticking with Team Dejardins, while Annie Lemay retains her position with Marie-France Larouche. However, Larouche has added former Jenn Hanna lead, Joelle Sabourin to her roster. Nancy Belanger rounds out the team ... Lemay's husband Jean-Michel Menard may be shaking up his team. JM -- see Homan above. Word is Martin Crete is playing vice ... Erin Morrissey's future is up in the air depending on where she attends business school -- Ottawa or London, Ont. The Robyn Matte team is solid, but Deb Karbashewski's team is no more ... On the junior front, Mark Fleishhaker and Nick Therien are looking for new players, while both Team Christian Tolusso and Team Sinclair remain together.

GAY APPAREL: Montreal's Sylvain Bellevance successfully defended his title in the second Over the Rainbow Bonspiel in Ottawa on Sunday. His team defeated Montreal's Jason Laing to take the $1,000 prize. Other event winners were Toronto's Jack Thompson ($500), Ottawa's Michael Lynch ($350) and Toronto' Paul Dunford ($300).

LITTLE ROCKERS: Alex Cormier skipped his team, which included Cole Lyon-Hatcher, Brittany Black and Samantha Trew, to the area's Little Rocks Championship on the weekend.

CURLING THIS WEEK: The Ford Men's Worlds begins Saturday. TSN broadcasts all Team Canada games starting at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.


Videos

Photos