Emma Miskew shoots a stone during the 12th draw of the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in Regina on Sept. 8, 2017. (Anil Mungal)

What’s ahead for Grand Slam of Curling in 2018

January 2, 2018, 4:28 PM

Happy New Year to all of our fans!

Here is what’s on tap for the second half of the 2017-18 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with four fantastic tournaments on the horizon including the Meridian Canadian Open, Princess Auto Elite 10, Players’ Championship and Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Visit thegrandslamofcurling.com/tickets for ticket info and tune to Sportsnet or watch online/mobile with Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or gsoc.yaretv.com (international).

Now a quick overview of the four upcoming events:

Meridian Canadian Open — Jan. 16-21, Camrose, Alta.

The third major of the original four Grand Slam tournaments features a triple knockout format where teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the playoffs.

Sixteen of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world are set to compete at the Meridian Canadian Open including 11 that are also heading to Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month for the Winter Olympics. The Meridian Canadian Open will be the final tune-up for clubs like Canada’s Team Homan and Team Koe before they gun for gold.

Team Gushue is the defending men’s champion and has reached the final in four consecutive seasons (Gushue also won the title in 2014). Could it be we see Gushue in the final once more?

The intriguing storyline on the women’s side involves Team Jones, who has won three consecutive majors capturing the Players’ Championship last season and the Masters and BOOST National in the fall. No women’s team has ever pulled off a “Tiger Slam” — win four straight majors regardless of season and named after Tiger Woods, who completed the illustrious feat in golf — could Team Jones become the first?

Check out the lineup of teams, draw schedule and brackets, and TV schedule for more information.

Full event and weekend passes plus single draw tickets are now available for the Meridian Canadian Open. Visit Camrosegsoc.goigniter.com or call 780-678-2868 today

Princess Auto Elite 10 — March 15-18, Winnipeg

After a bit of a break, the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling returns to Winnipeg for the first time since 2010.

As the name implies, the Princess Auto Elite 10 features 10 of the best men’s teams of the season in a match-play tournament where they attempt to win the most ends per game. It’s similar to a skins format although in match play points do not carry over to the next end if neither requirement is met. Teams must score two or more with the hammer or steal at least one without the hammer to win an end. This has led to lots of rocks in play and some sizzling shot-making skills.

Take last year’s championship game between John Morris and Brad Jacobs for example. It all came down to the final rock of the game with things all square. Team Morris held the hammer with an opportunity to win the title although they needed to work the angles to outcount the pesky Team Jacobs stone. Jim Cotter delivered to slash out the Jacobs rock and capture the championship.

If that wasn’t convincing enough then let’s go to the videotape … er, clip.

Tournament packages are now available for a special early bird price. Visit Elite10.goigniter.com to purchase your pass today but don’t delay as the early bird offer expires Jan. 16. Individual tickets will be available upon that date.

Players’ Championship — April 10-15, Toronto

The prestigious Players’ Championship, the crown jewel of the four majors, returns to Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre for the fourth consecutive season and fifth time in six years. The top 12 men’s teams and top 12 women’s teams of the season will face off for arguably the toughest title to win on tour.

We’ve built up quite the collection of memories over the years at the historic venue formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens. Scotland’s Eve Muirhead became the first non-Canadian skip to win a Grand Slam in 2013 and also the youngest skip to win in series history at age 22. Jacobs claimed his first career Grand Slam in 2015. Last season saw Jennifer Jones earn her record sixth Players’ Championship women’s title.

Could more memories be in the cards for 2018 as the Players’ Championship celebrates its 26th running? Be there and find out. Full packages are now available, click here to purchase yours today.

The Players’ Championship will also determine the winners of the Bonus Cup, awarded to the overall season champions and carrying a $75,000 bonus. Gushue and Jones have built comfortable leads in the standings with two titles apiece but with roughly double points up for grabs at the Players’ Championship you can expect it’ll still come down to the wire.

Humpty’s Champions Cup — April 24-29, Calgary

It’s the tournament to crown the king of kings and queen of queens in curling. Fifteen men’s teams and 15 women’s teams must win high-profile events just to even receive invitations and the list of qualified teams is filling up fast.

The Humpty’s Champions Cup is the season finale event and closes out another Olympic quadrennial cycle as well, so teams will want to finish this one off on a high note. Could it be the last time we see some teams and players on the ice? Let the rumour mill of speculation begin.

You don’t want to miss this one. Full packages are now available, visit Ticketmaster.ca to purchase yours today.