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Skip Brendan Bottcher splits with team after two seasons

Skip Brendan Bottcher has parted ways with his Calgary-based club.

Third Marc Kennedy, second Brett Gallant, lead Ben Hebert and coach Paul Webster announced Tuesday they are going in a new direction for next season.

“We have decided to make a change at the skip position and will be considering our options in the coming days,” the team said in a statement. 

Bottcher also released a statement saying he was no longer teammates with the group and wished them all the best on and off the ice.

“I am more passionate about the future of curling and my future than ever before,” Bottcher said in the statement. “As our sport continues to evolve and grow with increased interest from fans across Canada and around the world, generating extraordinary ratings as well as club and elite level expansions, curling is entering its golden era.”

Although Bottcher did not say his future plans, he ended the statement saying he’s “excited for what comes next for curling in Canada and the next iteration of Team Bottcher” with more news to come.

The 32-year-old from Spruce Grove, Alta., formed the powerhouse team with Kennedy, Gallant and Hebert — all former Olympians and world champions — for the start of the quadrennial in 2022. They captured two Grand Slam of Curling titles winning the Co-op Canadian Open and Champions Cup in their first season together.

Bottcher reached two Grand Slam finals during the 2023-24 campaign — finishing runner-up in the HearingLife Tour Challenge and Co-op Canadian Open —and also made it to two semifinals in the series. The team won three tour events early in the season and was ranked No. 1 in the world for four weeks during the fall.