Cross-Canada hookup

Brendan McCarthy
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Alberta's Ferbey is joining Gushue, but apparently not for provincial or Brier competition

Brad Gushue is choosing to maintain some air of mystery, but what he calls "a significant announcement" on Thursday will be that six-time Brier winner and four-time world champ Randy Ferbey of Alberta is joining his curling rink.

On Tuesday, media outlets in Edmonton were reporting the 50-year-old Ferbey will throw third stones for Gushue, with Mark Nichols moving to second. Ryan Fry, who has been Gushue's second the last two years, would switch to lead, replacing Jamie Korab, who is said to be taking a sabbatical from curling.

Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue (left) and his Alberta counterpart, Randy Ferbey, share a laugh during the 2005 Brier national men's championship in Edmonton. Ferbey, who has won six Briers and four world championships, mostly as a skip, is joi

Brad Gushue is choosing to maintain some air of mystery, but what he calls "a significant announcement" on Thursday will be that six-time Brier winner and four-time world champ Randy Ferbey of Alberta is joining his curling rink.

On Tuesday, media outlets in Edmonton were reporting the 50-year-old Ferbey will throw third stones for Gushue, with Mark Nichols moving to second. Ryan Fry, who has been Gushue's second the last two years, would switch to lead, replacing Jamie Korab, who is said to be taking a sabbatical from curling.

After first denying the stories, by late Tuesday, Ferbey was confirming the reports his team would be breaking up and that he would be joining forces with Gushue, although apparently only for World Curling Tour events. Ferbey says he won't be relocating here and won't compete in Newfoundland and Labrador provincial playdowns as a way of bypassing the always-tough competition for Alberta's berth at the national men's championship.

"I won't play for Newfoundland in the Brier. I don't believe in that," Ferbey told the Edmonton Sun, before adding that he might put together a team specifically for the Alberta men's tournament.

Gushue did admit to being excited by upcoming developments with his team, but as of Tuesday evening, wasn't yet ready to verify the Ferbey move.

Still, he was not denying it either.

"Let's just say it's premature. I'm not confirming it, so I would say it's just a rumour right now," said the 29-year-old from St. John's when told about the story on his hookup with Ferbey.

"But yes. I would think this could be called a significant announcement and I'm sure it will get people talking."

The addition of Ferbey, who skipped Brier-winners in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 and world champions in 2002, 2003 and 2005, is certainly a development that creates a nation-wide buzz.

This doesn't mark the first time Gushue has worked with a former Brier-winning skip from out of province. In 2005, he brought in Russ Howard of New Brunswick as second on a rink that also include Nichols and Korab. They went on to win a gold medal for Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

And roster changes have been quite common on Gushue's rink, beginning with Howard temporarily taking over from Mike Adam, who was the team's spare for the Olympic run. In the fall of 2006, Chris Schille permanently replaced Adam and the following year, Korab was dropped from the team. Dave Noftall became the new lead, but was there for just a year. By the start of the 2008-09 curling season, Noftall and Schille were out, Korab was back in and Fry had been recruited.

Schille and Fry were both imported from other provinces - Schille from Alberta and Fry from Manitoba.

There is familiarity between Gushue and Ferbey, having played against each other in three Briers and on the World Curling Tour, with one of their more recent head-to-head encounters coming in January, when Gushue beat Ferbey in the final of the Swiss Chalet National in Guelph, Ont., a WCT Grand Slam event.

There was also a time when they had a bit of a war of words. That was in 2003, when after losing to Ferbey in the round-robin of his first-ever Brier, Gushue said he'd like to get another shot at the Alberta skip.

Ferbey took some umbrage with that.

"It's his first Brier. Maybe he'll learn something from it," Ferbey said at the time. "This is a kid who's made $47 in curling vs guys who've won more than half-a-million dollars. You can't compare five or six wins here with guys who have played in 10 Briers."

But whatever rift resulted was soon patched up and they have since professed great respect for each other.

Ferbey has had much experience as third, having played the position for Pat Ryan's Brier winners out of Alberta in 1988 and 1989, winning one of his world titles with that team. He also threw third stones for his own rink, calling the game while leaving the last rocks to Dave Nedohin. According to at least one report out of Edmonton, he could be doing that with Gushue on the WCT.

bmcc@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Cross-Canada, World Curling Tour, Swiss Chalet National

Geographic location: Alberta, Edmonton, Newfoundland and Labrador St. John's New Brunswick Canada Manitoba Guelph

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Recent comments

  • flexxa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Ah Ha ...half of Alberta is Newfoundland!

  • observing
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    What is happening here is very common at the elite level of curling. Jeff Stoughton of Manitoba, one of the greatest skips in the country, announced a few days after the brier he was totally changing his team. and guess what comments in the Manitoba papers were 9-1 in wishing him all the best. Good thing he doesn't live in jealous, insecure Newfoundland.

    All the best, Brad and gang!

  • Lee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    What's Ferby going to move to NL ???
    I also agree with Telling It How I'd Like It To Be From Mount Pearl,
    Brad would not have won the Gold Medal without Russ Howard. Brad was making bad calls and Howard had to speak up to him.

  • Curling Fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Randy Ferby?? While I think that this will be a great fit for Team Gushue, I'm not sure if moving Nichols out of his third spot is wise. Is Ferby a better third than Nichols? No! Does Ferby have more expereince that can be used to help this team? Yes!

    I thought that Brad wanted to win a Brier. So, I'm a little confused why he would bring in a player that will not play in provincial playdowns and the Brier. What is the plan for that?

    To Jerome...Jamie Korab made the decision to take a sabbatical himself. Brad didn't do this. Brad is a professional curler and makes decisions for his team that better the team to be the best that they can be! Just like any other sports team! Brad does NOT do anything or use anyone to get himself ahead! Brad is a great guy!

    I think that Team Gushue will be stronger on the World Curling Tour with the addition of Ferby. I can't wait to get all the details from Brad at tomorrow's news conference.

  • Trevor
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    What a sad day this is for NL. What Gushue needs is to improve his leadership and not get mad at his players everytime HE misses key shots. The only reason they won the Olympics is becuase they had good leadership. He will continue to make poor team decisions like this until he realizes that the problem is in the mirror. Ferby is an ok player in his own right but I can almost gaurantee you it will not last.

  • Just me
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Wow , this is a shocker , and moving Mark from third , crazy , but than again I am not Gushue , Why not get someone who will play wiht the team all year , perhaps on the end ferby may do that , should be interesting !

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I was surprised to read this story so I went to the AB curling site where the news first came out. There are going to be many HUGE changes in curling teams this year. Scott Pfifer from the Ferby team is also taking at least a year off to spend more time with family. Stoughtons team has disbanded, Koe stated at the Brier that his team will split after the Worlds, at the same time Pat Simmonds indicated his team will split and the rumours were that he would be joining Dave Nedohin and Richard Hart from Glen Howards team stated he cannot commit to another 4 years. As for the comments about CTRS points, the format for Trials qualification has not yet been decided so the inference that Brad has taken Ferby for this reason is without foundation. Jamie, enjoy your break and get back to a normal life.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    It'll be interesting to see what happens when the huge egos of Gushue and Ferbey clash.

    I can't understand why Nichols follows behind Gushue. Nichols has been the only real talent on that team and getting pushed to second is little more than a slap in the face to him. He's one of the best thirds in the country and if he was going to move, it should have been to throw skip rocks not second.

  • Ah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Whats this then, Newfoundland still needs Alberta to succeed? No kidding.

  • Golf Fanatic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I'm guessing this is a marriage to earn points towards the next Olympic Trials.

    If this doesn't work out, they'll be in the same situation they were in for the last trials. Having to change the team up and lose points, thereby possibly being forced to go through pre-trials again ...

    If this does work out, they should earn alot of points and challenge for one of them all important byes ....

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Jamie Korab taking a sabbatical from curling; boy, where does Brad come up with the excuses? Guess Jamie didn't perform well enough for Brad so he got rid of him. What a combination; Ferby and Gushue; two very strong rivals getting together; but then again Brad will do anything, or use
    anyone, to get himself ahead.
    Gee, what's Ferby thinking about.

  • Telling it how Id
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    First he imports Russ Howard so he can sneak in and win Gold in Torino, I think it's about time the Gushue rear end kissers realise that without this move, he probably wouldn't have been in Turin in the first place.

    it's not that I'm saying he doesn't deserve the gold medal, he did his job and won.

    but let's face it, he was carried.

  • Sylvia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I have never been a fan of Randy's, and I never will be. I find him to be rather arrogant and full of himself. I also think it's a bad move to take Mark out of third spot. There's been many time he's saved them with a big shot.

    And for Ah Ha from Alberta, you sound as though you have a little of the bigot in you. You have managed to insult Newfoundlanders and both French and Chinese individuals in the one post. Good job! NOT!

  • Ken
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Ferby is over the hill Forget him Brad

  • Busy Bayman
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Ah Ha from Alberta , are you kidding? If AB had to depend on Albertans to work your oil sands would still be untouched. NL doesn't need AB to suceed, more like AB needs NL's as well as the rest of Canadians to get anything done.

  • Adam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Seems like a good fit to me. Fry seems to have good draw weight so he should move into the lead position very easily. Mark is a great 3rd, but his ability to throw big weight can make him an even bigger asset at 2nd. Ferbey obviosuly has a wealth of experience and can still throw good rocks. I would assume Brad will start sweeping again as I don't see Ferbey huffing and puffing down the ice.

    As for the Brier, I would assume Gusuhe could pick up a local for the provincial and if they get through Ferbey could listed as the 5th and play the Brier, but I could be wrong.

  • Do your hoework Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Jerome.. get your head out of the sand. if you knew anything about this story or paid attention to the news at all you would know that Korab is taking a year off curling to spend time with his family and to get married. He was on tv talking about this. It was not Brad's doing.. Stop with the negativity .. Gushue won a gold medal and as a newfoundlander be proud of that and stop bashing him..

  • Ah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Lazy Bayman more like it. Heck we can let the French come back and bring in the Chinamen. With one Frenchman we can get rid of a dozen Newfoundlanders or one Chinese worker and take out a dozen Lazy Baymen. We have been doing very well weeding out the Lazy Baymen over the past year and seeing an increase in production and a lower LTI rate then we had when they were here. Saves money all around. Now even your precious curlers see the need for real workers and players.

  • flexxa
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Ah Ha ...half of Alberta is Newfoundland!

  • observing
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    What is happening here is very common at the elite level of curling. Jeff Stoughton of Manitoba, one of the greatest skips in the country, announced a few days after the brier he was totally changing his team. and guess what comments in the Manitoba papers were 9-1 in wishing him all the best. Good thing he doesn't live in jealous, insecure Newfoundland.

    All the best, Brad and gang!

  • Lee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    What's Ferby going to move to NL ???
    I also agree with Telling It How I'd Like It To Be From Mount Pearl,
    Brad would not have won the Gold Medal without Russ Howard. Brad was making bad calls and Howard had to speak up to him.

  • Curling Fan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Randy Ferby?? While I think that this will be a great fit for Team Gushue, I'm not sure if moving Nichols out of his third spot is wise. Is Ferby a better third than Nichols? No! Does Ferby have more expereince that can be used to help this team? Yes!

    I thought that Brad wanted to win a Brier. So, I'm a little confused why he would bring in a player that will not play in provincial playdowns and the Brier. What is the plan for that?

    To Jerome...Jamie Korab made the decision to take a sabbatical himself. Brad didn't do this. Brad is a professional curler and makes decisions for his team that better the team to be the best that they can be! Just like any other sports team! Brad does NOT do anything or use anyone to get himself ahead! Brad is a great guy!

    I think that Team Gushue will be stronger on the World Curling Tour with the addition of Ferby. I can't wait to get all the details from Brad at tomorrow's news conference.

  • Trevor
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    What a sad day this is for NL. What Gushue needs is to improve his leadership and not get mad at his players everytime HE misses key shots. The only reason they won the Olympics is becuase they had good leadership. He will continue to make poor team decisions like this until he realizes that the problem is in the mirror. Ferby is an ok player in his own right but I can almost gaurantee you it will not last.

  • Just me
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Wow , this is a shocker , and moving Mark from third , crazy , but than again I am not Gushue , Why not get someone who will play wiht the team all year , perhaps on the end ferby may do that , should be interesting !

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    I was surprised to read this story so I went to the AB curling site where the news first came out. There are going to be many HUGE changes in curling teams this year. Scott Pfifer from the Ferby team is also taking at least a year off to spend more time with family. Stoughtons team has disbanded, Koe stated at the Brier that his team will split after the Worlds, at the same time Pat Simmonds indicated his team will split and the rumours were that he would be joining Dave Nedohin and Richard Hart from Glen Howards team stated he cannot commit to another 4 years. As for the comments about CTRS points, the format for Trials qualification has not yet been decided so the inference that Brad has taken Ferby for this reason is without foundation. Jamie, enjoy your break and get back to a normal life.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    It'll be interesting to see what happens when the huge egos of Gushue and Ferbey clash.

    I can't understand why Nichols follows behind Gushue. Nichols has been the only real talent on that team and getting pushed to second is little more than a slap in the face to him. He's one of the best thirds in the country and if he was going to move, it should have been to throw skip rocks not second.

  • Ah
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Whats this then, Newfoundland still needs Alberta to succeed? No kidding.

  • Golf Fanatic
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I'm guessing this is a marriage to earn points towards the next Olympic Trials.

    If this doesn't work out, they'll be in the same situation they were in for the last trials. Having to change the team up and lose points, thereby possibly being forced to go through pre-trials again ...

    If this does work out, they should earn alot of points and challenge for one of them all important byes ....

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Jamie Korab taking a sabbatical from curling; boy, where does Brad come up with the excuses? Guess Jamie didn't perform well enough for Brad so he got rid of him. What a combination; Ferby and Gushue; two very strong rivals getting together; but then again Brad will do anything, or use
    anyone, to get himself ahead.
    Gee, what's Ferby thinking about.

  • Telling it how Id
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    First he imports Russ Howard so he can sneak in and win Gold in Torino, I think it's about time the Gushue rear end kissers realise that without this move, he probably wouldn't have been in Turin in the first place.

    it's not that I'm saying he doesn't deserve the gold medal, he did his job and won.

    but let's face it, he was carried.

  • Sylvia
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I have never been a fan of Randy's, and I never will be. I find him to be rather arrogant and full of himself. I also think it's a bad move to take Mark out of third spot. There's been many time he's saved them with a big shot.

    And for Ah Ha from Alberta, you sound as though you have a little of the bigot in you. You have managed to insult Newfoundlanders and both French and Chinese individuals in the one post. Good job! NOT!

  • Ken
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Ferby is over the hill Forget him Brad

  • Busy Bayman
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Ah Ha from Alberta , are you kidding? If AB had to depend on Albertans to work your oil sands would still be untouched. NL doesn't need AB to suceed, more like AB needs NL's as well as the rest of Canadians to get anything done.

  • Adam
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Seems like a good fit to me. Fry seems to have good draw weight so he should move into the lead position very easily. Mark is a great 3rd, but his ability to throw big weight can make him an even bigger asset at 2nd. Ferbey obviosuly has a wealth of experience and can still throw good rocks. I would assume Brad will start sweeping again as I don't see Ferbey huffing and puffing down the ice.

    As for the Brier, I would assume Gusuhe could pick up a local for the provincial and if they get through Ferbey could listed as the 5th and play the Brier, but I could be wrong.

  • Do your hoework Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Jerome.. get your head out of the sand. if you knew anything about this story or paid attention to the news at all you would know that Korab is taking a year off curling to spend time with his family and to get married. He was on tv talking about this. It was not Brad's doing.. Stop with the negativity .. Gushue won a gold medal and as a newfoundlander be proud of that and stop bashing him..

  • Ah
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Lazy Bayman more like it. Heck we can let the French come back and bring in the Chinamen. With one Frenchman we can get rid of a dozen Newfoundlanders or one Chinese worker and take out a dozen Lazy Baymen. We have been doing very well weeding out the Lazy Baymen over the past year and seeing an increase in production and a lower LTI rate then we had when they were here. Saves money all around. Now even your precious curlers see the need for real workers and players.