Laura Walker shoots a stone during the 2019 Humpty's Champions Cup in Saskatoon. (Anil Mungal)

Curling team changes recap for 2019-20 season

July 1, 2019, 5:31 PM

Happy Canada Day and — if you’re a hockey or basketball fan — Happy Free Agent Frenzy!

In case you’re looking for curling activity on the market, well, you’re too late. Curling teams looking to make changes tend to have their new lineups set before the previous season even ends, so most of our roster moves took place back in March/April. Crazy but that’s just the way it goes as teams want to dedicate as much of their off-season towards training, planning and seeking out sponsors (as well as some much-needed R&R, of course).

Here are some notable team changes for the 2019-20 season.

Team Balsdon (Ontario)

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Megan
Balsdon
Lynn
Kreviazuk
Rachelle
Strybosch
Tess
Bobbie

Megan Balsdon moves up from third to skip for the Ontario Scotties provincial finalists as Julie Tippin has stepped back. Lynn Kreviazuk, who won the 2016 Masters with skip Alli Flaxey, played with Jacqueline Harrison last season.

Team Cannon (Manitoba)

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Theresa
Cannon
Karen
Klein
Vanessa
Foster
Raunora
Westcott

Skip Darcy Robertson has moved on (see below) but her former teammates opted to stick together with Theresa Cannon sliding up from lead. Raunora Westcott played with Team Flaxey last season.

Team Epping (Ontario)

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John
Epping
Ryan
Fry
Mat
Camm
Brent
Laing

Ryan Fry, formerly with Team Jacobs, joins longtime pal John Epping at third. That requires a lineup shuffle: Mat Camm moved over to second and Brent Laing to lead with Craig Savill dropped from the club.

Team Gunnlaugson (Manitoba)

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Jason
Gunnlaugson
Alex
Forrest
Adam
Casey
Connor
Njegovan

With Denni Neufeld taking a step back from the competitive scene, provincial nomad Adam Casey hops on board at second. The P.E.I. native Casey, who has represented three different provinces at the Brier, skipped his own squad out of Ontario last season.

Team Horgan (Manitoba)

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Tanner
Horgan
Colton
Lott
Kyle
Doering
Tanner
Lott

Northern Ontario’s Tracy Fleury started skipping a Manitoba-based team last year and now her younger brother Tanner Horgan follows suit. Colton Lott and Kyle Doering won the Canadian junior championship and world junior bronze medal with skip Matt Dunstone in 2016.

Team Jacobs (Northern Ontario)

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Brad
Jacobs
Marc
Kennedy
E.J.
Harnden
Ryan
Harnden

Former Team Koe third Marc Kennedy, who took a break last season, returns to the ice to replace Ryan Fry. The 12-time GSOC title winner Kennedy filled in for Fry at the 2018 Canada Cup and helped Team Jacobs win that event.

Team K. Jones (Ontario)

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Kaitlyn
Jones
Alli
Flaxey
Clancy
Grandy
Morgan
Lavell

Alli Flaxey rejoins Clancy Grandy and Morgan Lavell but will shuffle the lineup to bring in former world junior champion Kaitlyn Jones, who is graduating to the women’s tour and returning to Ontario.

Team Muirhead (Scotland)

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Eve
Muirhead
Lauren
Gray
Jennifer
Dodds
Vicky
Wright

Alternate Vicky Wright replaces Vicki Chalmers, who has hung up the curling broom. That means we still get to hear Eve Muirhead yell, “Harder Vicky!”

Team Robertson (Manitoba)

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Darcy
Robertson
Laura
Burtnyk
Gaetanne
Gauthier
Krysten
Karwacki

Team Burtnyk is now Team Robertson with skip Darcy Robertson, who is a three-time Manitoba Scotties champion, taking the reins.

Team Sinclair (USA)

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Jamie
Sinclair
Cory
Christensen
Vicky
Persinger
Sarah
Anderson
Taylor
Anderson

USA Curling announced a new look for Team Sinclair next season with former skip Cory Christensen joining at third while Vicky Persinger rejoins the squad at second. Persinger won the Players’ Championship with Sinclair in 2018 and subbed during the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup following Monica Walker’s retirement.

Team Tardi (B.C.)

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Tyler
Tardi
Sterling
Middleton
Jordan
Tardi
Alex
Horvath

Back-to-back world junior champ Tyler Tardi is starting a new chapter with nothing left to prove in the junior ranks. Second Matthew Hall moved back to Ontario and Tyler’s older brother Jordan has rejoined the squad for men’s play.

Team Ulsrud (Norway)

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Thomas
Ulsrud
Steffen
Walstad
Markus
Høiberg
Magnus
Vågberg

Thomas Ulsrud’s former team called it a day but the 47-year-old skip linked up with Steffen Walstad’s squad.

Team Walker (Alberta)

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Laura
Walker
Kate
Cameron
Taylor
McDonald
Nadine
Scotland

Laura Walker skips a new squad adding Kate Cameron and Taylor McDonald (formerly with Team Flaxey) and former skip Nadine Scotland. Walker and McDonald previously played together on Teams Carey and Rocque.

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