SUMMERSIDE – Adam Casey will not be returning to the Brad Gushue rink for the 2014-15 curling season.
Gushue announced on Monday that his former longtime teammate, Mark Nichols, is returning to his rink and will play third stone. Brett Gallant of Charlottetown will move from third stone to second stone, and Geoff Walker remains at lead.
The announcement comes two days after the Gushue rink lost in the semifinals of the season-ending Players’ Championship at Eastlink Arena in Summerside. Casey had curled with Team Gushue for the last three years.
“We decided we weren’t going to make a move until after Summerside,” said Casey in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer on Monday night. “Going in, we knew Mark was coming in. Brad was very up front and honest about what was kind of going on behind the scenes.
“I knew Mark was coming in to play for sure, so I knew one of us was ultimately going to go. I kind of figured Geoff was safe at lead, so I figured it was down to Brett and I.
“We clearly had no indication going into the week (in Summerside) and kind of thought of it as a tryout week. . . Then (Gushue) he told me yesterday (Sunday) morning. I was a little bit in shock.
“I guess they think they have the right lineup or the X factor or something to put them over the top without me. I’m never going to fault guys for trying to make themselves better.”
The 24-year-old Casey, who grew up in Seven Mile Bay and came through the junior program at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club in Summerside, said he is motivated to continue curling at the highest possible level.
“Maybe I don’t agree with the decision, but as an athlete and competitor I have to have faith in myself and I have take it as a bit of a snub and use it to get better,” said Casey. “I have all the respect and admiration in the world for Brad, Brett and Geoff. I wish them well, and there’s no hard feelings that way.”
As for his future, Casey commented: “There are some opportunities, but I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. . . Over the next week I’ll try to piece together what I want to do.
“I definitely want to curl a lot, curl at the highest level and try to get to the Olympics and win a Brier.”