New Brunswick Tribune

Following Team Bottcher’s exit, Darren Moulding joins James Grattan’s NB rink

Key takeaways:

  • Third, Darren Moulding has joined a new curling team and is gearing up for the Brier in Lethbridge, Alta.
  • Moulding says he plans to travel east in January, pending COVID restrictions, to get valuable ice time with the team.
  • Grattan says he heard Moulding was looking to join a team and compete in the Brier, and he felt compelled to contact him.

Third, Darren Moulding has found a new curling team and is preparing to compete in the Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., less than three weeks after being cut by Team Bottcher.

According to CBC Sports, the moulding will team up with James Grattan and his veteran rink from New Brunswick.

Grattan has curled in the Brier 13 times and is no stranger to the men’s national championship. Grattan reached out to Moulding following his abrupt dismissal from Team Bottcher and set things in motion.

“I received a message from James a few days after the breakup with my old team. He suggested that if I was looking for a way to get to Lethbridge, he might have a suggestion. The team offered me a job for the rest of the year. “CBC Sports spoke with Moulding.

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“I pondered the message after reading it. I took a little more time than usual. We talked for a while, and I considered my options, “he stated

Moulding says he considered several factors, the most important of which were his health and the competitiveness of the team he would be joining — most importantly, he wanted to be on a team that had a chance of making it to the Brier, which is held in his home province of Alberta and in a city he is familiar with.

“My curling career has taken yet another bizarre turn. But all I can say is that I’m grateful to the guys on the team for making room for me. It’s a fantastic veteran group. That was extremely significant to me.”

Grattan says he heard Moulding was looking to join a team and compete in the Brier, and he felt compelled to contact him.

Grattan told CBC Sports,s one of the most likable curlers in the game.”

“After consulting with my team, we chose to contact Darren to see if we could help make that happen.”

Grattan is now the skip, Moulding is third, and Paul Dobson is second. At this point, Andy McCann and Jame Brannen will be battling for the lead. The last decision will be made at a later time.

In other ways, this is a full circle moment for Moulding, who remembers first seeing Grattan play at the 1997 Brier.

Grattan was making his first appearance at the show.

Darren Moulding has joined James Grattan's rink in New Brunswick.
Darren Moulding has joined James Grattan’s rink in New Brunswick. image from Yahoo

“I was 14 years old at the time. That year, Calgary was hosting the Brier, and I was a volunteer selling tickets so people could come in and watch the games. “Mouldings are being recalled.

“That week, I skipped school a lot and was there all the time. James was a rookie head coach, and they went on a tear and made the playoffs. They were a hit with the audience. They were taking a lot of pictures. That’s how he earned the moniker Jimmy the Kid.”

Grattan finished third in that Brier, his best finish as a skip to date.

Now, after all the years, the two are reuniting in the hopes of making a run at the Lethbridge Brier, which is just down the road from Calgary.

“Team Grattan has a history of performing admirably against the best teams in the country. Adding a player with Darren’s skills and experience improves our team almost immediately in almost every way, “Grattan explained.

But there’s still performance to be done first. The team must win the provincial playdowns in New Brunswick, which will occur in mid-February.

Moulding says he plans to travel east in January, pending COVID restrictions, to get valuable ice time with the team.

“I’m excited to meet up with them and spend some time with them. Respect for the New Brunswick playdown process is extremely important to me, “Moulding explained.

“That is why I want to go there and work with the team to maximize our remaining time. The plan is to travel there for a few days in late January to train and practice. Then go home for about ten days before returning for the playdowns.”

According to Moulding, the sting of being cut from Team Bottcher is still fresh in his mind. He’s spent the last few weeks processing what happened but now says he’s only thinking about the future.

After winning the Calgary bubble last year, Team Bottcher has already qualified for the Lethbridge Brier and will represent Team Canada.

Source: CBC News

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