Cutting Kammerlock a tough call

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

It may have been the toughest move he has made in his illustrious curling career.

Kerry Burtnyk's decision to cut Dan Kammerlock, the kid he had taken under his wing, was made even more difficult by the fact that he had won a Brier with Dan's dad, Ron.

Ron Kammerlock was a no-show at Sunday's Manitoba Hall of Fame Dinner where that 1981 Brier team was honoured.

"Ron's a dad who has a son whom he is very proud of and should be very proud of," Burtnyk said. "He's also a competitive person. I know, being a father myself, I don't like it when I see my children not making the teams they want to make and those types of things. So, I understand that he is unhappy with the decision completely and all of that was part of the process of making this very difficult decision even more difficult.

"It was certainly no slight on Dan whatsoever. He's a young curler who has a long career ahead of him ... I felt that in order for me to continue on the path I'm on, which is a very short path, that I needed to have someone who's been through this before, who's proven his worth and try it now rather than worry about the future."

MEDICAL POLICY: Burtnyk suggested that the CCA needs some sort of medical policy for the Olympic trials qualifying process, not just because he needs that addressed now but for other teams that may experience health problems, or even deaths.

HEALTH WOES: Alberta's Don Walchuk, who will replace Kammerlock at third, experienced some health problems of his own during the 2007 Alberta playdowns. Then skipping a squad of his own, Walchuk fell down during a practice and had to be escorted from the rink, forcing his team to play two key games without him.

"Don's 100% healthy and ready to go," assured Burtnyk, who has curled with Walchuk before.

"He's one of the greatest players who has ever played," Walchuk said. "So, it's real exciting for me."

BITERS: Burtnyk's 2008 team was one of nine provincial champions honoured at the Legislative Building yesterday ... With confirmation of Garth Smith at lead for Burtnyk, Reid Carruthers is seeking another second to round out his new squad ... Although Allison Nimik is moving to Calgary next year, she has been granted permission to still play third for Sean Grassie at the national Mixed championship.


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