When Randy Ferbey and his rink step on the ice for the Grey Power Players' Championship in Dawson Creek this week it will be with a tinge of sadness as this will be the final time the rink will be together.
After this week the rink that has won four Brier and three world titles will be splitting up, going their separate ways and Ferbey will be joining Brad Gushue's Newfoundland rink.
"That will be a very interesting," said Ferbey in an interview with the Daily News.
"We are still great friends on and off the ice, but unfortunately these things do come to an end for various reasons. It will be an emotional time. We have been together for 12 years. It will be a very difficult time."
For much of the early 2000s, Ferbey and teammates Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque were the cream of the curling world and even made a stop in Dawson Creek when the city held the Alberta championship in 2002. The rink went on to win a world title that year and also in 2003 and 2005, but it hasn't made it out of the province since then.
Perhaps it is time for a change.
The other three members plan to take a year or two off or retire from competitive curling, so a month ago 2006 Olympic gold medallist Brad Gushue (whose lead Jamie Korab also decided to take off a year or two) called Ferbey and the two talked about forming one potent curling rink.
"He gave me a call about a month ago and asked what my plans were for the season and we talked about the feasibility of it, whether it would work or wouldn't work and the good things about it and the bad things about it. We sat down and figured let's give it a shot anyway. It is only a year and we will see how it goes after that. It could be very good, but time will tell," said Ferbey.
As he does now, the Sherwood Park skip will call the shots and throw third rocks, and Gushue will throw the final stones.
The announcement was leaked Tuesday and confirmed Thursday. It surely would have been taken as a bad April Fools' joke had it been made a week earlier. After all, there is some history between Ferbey and Gushue and one wonders how they will get along. Earlier in their careers, Ferbey took a verbal swipe at Gushue after the Newfoundland skip made some innocuous comments that were taken the wrong way.
"The media really does stretch these things out and make them more than what they are. No offence to anybody. It was totally blown out of proportion. We have arguments every day of our lives with people - our friends, our bosses, our spouses - and we get over it and that was what... seven years ago or something."
But that's in the past. This week, Ferbey, Nedohin, Pfeifer and Rocque will be enjoying their final days together. It has been a long, satisfying journey that will end this week at the EnCana Events Centre.
"There's a lot of money at stake and we would like a large piece of that, and this is our last time. It would be a story book ending to win this thing or do quite well, but there are a lot of good teams there and it will be quite difficult."