Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Vodka only hitch our rock stars see

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111"If I was their age and didn't have family obligations, why not?" Stoughton said when asked if he would accept an opportunity similar to Gunnlaugson's

"It's a chance to see the world and curl at the highest level without any financial burden. For these guys, they live and breathe curling and they've been losing money to do it. I think Jason (Gunnlaugson) tries to support his curling life by playing online poker. This is a great opportunity. We'll have to wait and see how it works out, but I wish them the best."

Manitoba curling luminary Randy Dutiaume thinks the Gunnlaugson move will, in the end, be good for Canadian curling.

"They'll get a chance to play all the time and under the bright lights. It's a great experience for them. It's like a young NHL hockey player getting called up and seeing what it's like in the big league. Once he's been there, he works even harder to stay," Dutiaume said.

"Jason and his teammates will eventually come back to Canada and make the landscape here even more competitive. Plus they'll be growing the game of curling, and we need all of that we can get."

Dutiaume, however, does see one issue.

"Jason doesn't even drink vodka," laughed Dutiaume, referring to Gunnlaugson's abstinence. "That won't go over too well in Russia."

-- Gary Lawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 29, 2010 C2

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