Saturday, December 13, 2008

Team Canada 2009 announcement delayed again - new date December 17

The eight member Team Canada squad had been told that they would know ten days ago which five players would wear the Maple Leaf at the 2009 Worlds. That date was changed to the conclusion of the Richmond spiel. Today they were informed that they would be told by telephone  next Wednesday, December 17th.

The reason for the continued delay is not clear, even given that statistically there is little to choose between the candidates beyond (in my opinion) Armstrong, Neighbour and Forrest. Did performances at the Richmond event suggest the need for a rethink?

Will past practice be followed with two women making the squad? Will non-BC members Chris Sobkowicz and Bruno Yizek be included to give them the benefit of meaningful international competition prior to 2010? Or a compromise - Sonja Gaudet plus either Chris or Bruno? Or will experience win out and Gary Cormack and Gerry Austgarden hold on to their spots?

With six of the squad from BC and entries for the BC playdowns for the Canadian Nationals due by December 22, the choice has implications for BC's playdown teams who will be allowed only two Team Canada members on any one side.

You can add your choice for Team Canada 2009 by adding a comment to the couple of dozen guesses already posted on the December 10th Blog post.


Anonymous said...

So someone tell me how this surprises any one!!!

The comment about a rethink is YES!

But why ask your self the real answers. Maybe the rethink is how to make the players the Coach wants fit into the plan without there being to many questions asked.

How can Coach Rea fit Austgarden in even with the poor preformances that he continues to show and his lack of abiltiy to play in the skips spot.

The numbers will be reworked to fit into what coach rea wants and TEAM CANADA, the program and the future of this spot is continually put into question by a system which throws out those that question any level and it is not about performance, leadership, ability or want.

But turely turns a blind eye to the development of a program and scarfices those who not need be for the friendships which are held at all levels.

Gerry Peckham played with Jim and Joe played with and comes from the same town as Gerry.

Joe is friends with Gerry

How can we all continue to look pass fact which was and continues to hit us all in the face!

Chris Daw was the start, how long before we see the same things happen again.

We as a community need to question the actions of the CCA and as for the real answers which are hidden away in people, like Daw. Again why did he leave.......No one but him and a few high up CCA people have the answers.

What an absolute, what Read wants Rea gets.......

. said...

Coach Joe Rea lives about 700 kilometers from Gerry Austgarden.

Anonymous said...

I understand how national programs work; medals sustain funding that sustain nation progam jobs. But at what cost to the ATHLETES. We had 8 - 13 athletes in the pool of potenial candidates that attended camps for the program this season. As this became the final 8 for 5 spots how did the ahletes feel competing against potenial team mates? Are each personality type compatibale and interchangeable in a competitive environment? How does team dynamic and ability affect team strategy? Have we asked enough questions and then looked at the answers and accepted them or manipulated them so that we got the answer we wanted? Just a few thoughts from the outside looking in.

Anonymous said...

what is the difference if Gerry lives 10,000km away from Joe Rae, they are friends. Look at Gerry Peckham and Jim Armstrong, they live 5,000 km away and one buddy did another buddy a favor did he.So if Joe and Gerry and Jim and Gerry P are friends what difference does it make, friendship speaks miles in the national program.

Anonymous said...

I, for one am astonished. Peckham asked Armstrong to have a look at plaing, since the program was going nowhere. Virtually no one would play with Daw, andhe wasn't a skip, anyway. Armstrong gives it a shot, and low and behold, he is great.

Austgarden's performances in the past and present will sink him, I am sure.

Therefore, if the selection program works, look for Armstrong on the team, as merits would allow, and Austgarden gone, by the same evaluation.

If this ocurs, the system works.....PERIOD

Anonymous said...

Seems everyone accepts Jim Armstrong's ability and attitude. Why doesn't the Program save a cuple of hundred thousand dollars and, in the short term give him his choice of teammates and run with it until after 2010?

Nothing wil change before then and Jim could make the entire program more efficiant on the short term.

Money saved could go to future development.

I, for one, believe that Jim is the best at this point, and allowing him to handle short-term development would be cost effective and efficient.

Anonymous said...

What really gets me is the willingness to try somone new when there is proven curlers losing there job. I was in Richmond and yes they do need some changes, however it does not mean, clean house. The projected team seems to be decided along time ago. Team skill level has increased including past gold medal players, Gaudet was one of the strongest curlers playing this weekend and so were some of the players not included in the top 8. I envy the decision the coaches have to make, but gender should not be one of them. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Hi Readers

Just a quick comment, just wondering who thinks I wasn't a skip? I skipped the canadian program for 7 years. Won a silver at worlds, won a bronze at worlds and a GOLD at the Paralympics all at the skips position.

As for no one playing with me, well I know of only two or three people that have ever had a problem playing with me. So where you are making your comment I am not sure. And I bet, you don't know me. I am not the same person I was one year ago, definatly not the same person I was two years ago when I won the Gold medal.

Everybody makes their mistakes, most mature people let me go. Please do not make comments about me that you can not back up.

Good curling to everyone at worlds,and at nationals and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Chris Daw

Anonymous said...


I guess, unfortunately, you have not been involved with the Program since your self admitted change in attitude. Good for you to have matured in the past year, but unfortunately, people making decisions and potentially could be playing with you now have not seen the change. I for one think Jim Armstrong could take you under his wing and raise your level of play and understanding.

Don't know if this could be done in the future, but my guess is that there will now be much variation, if at all from the remaining eight.

Anonymous said...


Your right in one sense;

I have not been involved in the TEAM CANADA side of things since I took a "temporary leave of absence"
But I have remained strong in the development side of things, very strong.

And just to let ever one know, I get along with Jim Armstrong very well and have supported him as he has supported me over the last months.

I have worked with Jim and work with many others during my break away from the Canadian program.
Sometimes, individuals whom have great passion form sport get blinded and need to step back inorder to find the right direction again.

As for the next year leading up to the Paralympic games......

I think variation is the right word. I think until the correct variants are found we as a country need to keep searching.

Both inside and outside the boxes.

Limiting our options of 8 is an option I hope will not occur as who knows when or where the next of Canadians wheelchair curlers will show themselves. We saw Jim come in and make a difference and that was not limiting our options, perhaps at this years nationals an other top wheelchair curler will come from nowhere and help keep Canada on top.

I think allot of words are spoke on this blog which is good, but please, we need to try not to attack people.

Myself, Jim, Coach Rea, Gerry Austgarden or any others.

We are all curlers do our best to make Canada the best. We should be promoting and support all who play at ALL levels, more over we need to band together to support Team Canada regardless of our options of whom we think should be on that Team. The CCA have tasked Coach Rea and Coach Morgan with the selection of this teams and I do hope whom ever is on it we will support them in the effort to get Canada back on the podium at Worlds and at the top of that podium for the first time.

My thoughts,

And for public record; I am sorry to all of you if I have upset, was unsupportive of you or impudent in the past. It truly who I am NOT today!

Merry Christmas and Good Curling.
Chris Daw

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that someone would insinuate that Jim Armstrong would not make the National Team if he were not a friend of Jerry Peckham.

Obviously this writer has not seen Armstrong call the game and throw.

Get serious.....Armstrong is head and shoulders above the least as good technically (already, in ONE year), and comletely in a league of his own for strategy and ice-reading.

Anonymous said...

Chris Dw:

Good on you for your comments. I hope you get an opportunity to play with Jim Armstrong in the future.

He has literally done wonders for Darryl Neighbour's game AND attitude.

Anonymous said...

Seems thast if one of the posters had his way, Austgarden and Armstrong would both be gone because of who they know.

Don't think it wil happen, nor should it. I wouldn't be surprised, though if Austgarden didn.t make the Team. As for Armstrong, he should be playing, and coaching....

Anonymous said...

You can not believe that someone would insinuate that Jim Armstrong would not make the National Team if he were not a friend of Jerry Peckham.

Ask your self this.....

If he was not friends with Gerry Peckham and if Gerry had not given him a call....

Would he have been involved at ALL?????

Makes you think....

Anonymous said...

As Eric has said, it was a shrewd move by Peckham to invite Jim to try out (Gerry was allowed to add to the group of 13, if it made sense, and this one obviously did, in spades.). Jim is now the person which the program turns on, to the competitive betterment of te sport.


Anonymous said...

How the hell can you say we are well ahead of our previous experiences?

Holy cow, Canada in the past has won;
a silver at worlds
a bronze at worlds
won 5 international bonspeils, this is before Joe became the coach, Joe becomes coach and for some reason we can't hit the poduim at worlds, the only international bonspiels we can win are where international B teams are playing.

Yes, we won the GOLD with Joe as the coach but if you were there you know he has very little to do with anything. And just on that how can you say we are far ahead of our previous experiences?

We do not have an oppurtunity to prove anything again until Feb, and then the following year. People better look at history before they make comments on anything.

Yes, things have progressed and teams and the canadian program are getting better, but don't down play the accomplishments of what has happened in the past.

Anonymous said...

What happened a few years ago would likely not even qualify for Worlds today.

The past is an entirely diferent animal than today. Think of this...three years ago is half the history of the sport in Canada.

Eric DID make one very interesting commnet on another thread.. Jim Armstrong has tremendous ice reading and strategy skills, BUT is the level of the game good enough to utilize these advantaes?

Just a thought

Anonymous said...

Karen has a good point about the past teams. Yes they did win in Torino, and that is the best result possible, regardless of competition.

However, this sport has rocketed in ability of late. Iwould be bold enough to suggest Jim Armstrong's interest in even giving it a whirl wuld not have been tweaked if the game was languishing in the mid 2000's experience.

His interest in pursuing the sport suggests to me, that as an "outsider" (former able-bodied with tons of wins)suggests that he sees where this sport can lead.

Perhaps an intervies with him would provide an intersting peek into where he believes the sport is headed.....

. said...

That interview could certainly happen...

I recently spoke to Jim and he told me that while he is currently concentrating on making the team, he intends to be part of the sport for the long haul, either on or off the ice.

Anonymous said...

Good for him.....Now, DID HE MAKE THE TEAM?


Anonymous said...

End of the day, and still no announcement of the team.....Maybe Jim fired all the coaches, and hasn't decided on the team.........

Anonymous said...

Chris S.

. said...

As of 12.14 pm there is no official confirmation of the team as not every member has been notified.

Anonymous said...

The team above is the 2009 Team Canada, to bad....

Anonymous said...

Why too bad?????

What would you have done?