Pat Simmons returning to skip new team next season

Pat Simmons of Team Bottcher throws a stone at the WFG Masters in Okotoks, Alta. (Anil Mungal)

Pat Simmons has latched on with a new team for next season.

The two-time Brier champ from Moose Jaw, Sask., will skip with the Winnipeg-based trio of third Colton Lott, second Kyle Doering and lead Rob Gordon. Team Simmons made the announcement Monday on social media.

Simmons joined Brendan Bottcher’s team at the start of this season to play third after his own squad split, however, his stay was rather short as he parted ways with the Edmonton crew in late December.

Lott, Doering and Gordon won the Canadian junior curling championship and world junior bronze medal in 2016 with skip Matt Dunstone. The three played on tour this year with Jason Gunnlaugson calling the shots. The team tweeted out last week Gunnlaugson will skip a different team next season.

While Lott, Doering and Gordon are still relatively new to the men’s game, the 42-year-old Simmons is one of the most experienced players in the business. Simmons won five provincial titles as a skip in his home province before joining Kevin Koe in Calgary in 2011 at third. Team Koe won the Brier and finished fourth at the worlds in 2014. When Koe moved on to form a new team, Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen stuck together adding 2010 Olympic gold medallist John Morris at skip in order to return to the Brier the following year as Team Canada.

The new combo struggled until a switch during the 2015 Brier — with Morris and Simmons flipping skip and third spots — propelled them to another national championship and a bronze medal at the worlds. Rycroft and Thiessen stepped back from competitive curling last year while Morris rejoined Jim Cotter in B.C.

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