According to the Canadian Press on Tuesday, John Morris will skip team Canada at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary. A spot was open for the defending national men's curling champion squad based out of the Glencoe Club in Calgary when skip Kevin Koe made the announcement that he would be forming a new team next season.
This means that Morris, who ironically lost the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier final to Koe in March, will be joined next year by third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen, for the first ever team Canada at a Brier championship.
Morris has an excellent resume. He was the third for Kevin Martin on team Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, won a gold medal as the third for Martin at the 2008 World Curling Championships in Grand Forks, North Dakota, won two Briers as a third (2008 and 2009 with Martin) and advanced to two Brier championships as a skip (2002 with Ontario and 2014 with British Columbia).
Interestingly, Morris, who was born in Winnipeg, has been in the championship game in the last two Briers that have been in Calgary. In 2002 with third Joe Frans, second Craig Savill and lead Brent Laing, Morris lost 9-4 to Randy Ferbey of Alberta In 2009 while with Martin, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert, Morris was part of an Alberta team that beat Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton 10-4.
Also just another example of how the small the curling world is, Laing is joining Koe as his new second. Laing had been the long time second for Ontario's Glenn Howard after his time with Morris.
Koe meanwhile will be the heavy favourite to win the 2015 Alberta Provincial Curling Championship (better known as the Boston Pizza Cup) in Wainwright, Alberta. His biggest competition will come from Edmonton's Jamie King, who ironically was Koe's fifth this past year. King also has two very familiar curlers on his team. King's third is Blake MacDonald (won a World Championship with Koe as his third in 2010) and his second is Scott Pfeifer (who won four world championships with Ferbey in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005).