WINNIPEG - Tyler Forrest is hoping that this will be the beginning of a beautiful curling relationship.
As the Winnipeg Sun first speculated, Forrest has been asked to replace the recently released Steve Gould at lead for Charleswood’s Jeff Stoughton, at least for a test run at a World Curling Tour spiel in Victoria later this month.
“It’s a really good chance, for sure,” Forrest said Tuesday. “They’re looking for someone with a little experience and who will fit in well with the team.”
Forrest once played for Reid Carruthers, Stoughton’s second. He also played for Jason Gunnlaugson at the 2009 Canadian Curling Trials, and was with him during his Russian venture.
“He’s a really good sweeper and he’s been really good friends of Reid’s for a long time, so we know what we’re getting,” said Stoughton, who parted ways with Gould before the Brier began. “And he always puts the rocks in the right spot.”
In fact, Forrest contacted Carruthers first, but not before calling his own Deer Lodge skip, William Lyburn, during the Brier where he was the fifth for Manitoba’s Rob Fowler.
“I told Tyler I’d support him in whatever decision he makes,” Lyburn said. “He gets a chance to play for a team that is funded, has sponsorship and is pretty close to having an Olympic trials spot wrapped up … But I don’t think it’s a done deal yet.”
It’s not. In fact, sources say two other curlers are under consideration to play lead for Stoughton at the Players’ Championship — should Forrest falter. Stoughton has made no commitment to Forrest beyond the Victoria weekend, but is hoping he will work out for the long term.
If Lyburn does lose Forrest, he would consider replacing him with Gould.
“Just look at his credentials,” Lyburn said of the two-time world champ. “But I’d have to see where his head’s at first — whether he wants to keep playing, or if he would consider playing for us a step down.”