THE GEMS NEWTON CUP 2007
JUNE 21 - 24, 2007
THE RADIUM RESORT, RADIUM, BRITISH COLUMBIA
April 4, 2007
For Immediate Release:
Blockbuster Trade Shakes Up Underachieving Team Newton & ‘06 Champs Team Gems.
Imbery moved for Kureluk
Assessing the blockbuster Team Newton / Team Gems trade requires an answer to a simple question. Who got the best player?
On paper, Team Newton. Gerry Imbery, in combination with Paul Newton, will give Team Newton one of the best 1-2 punches in competitive play. A team with a popgun offence added a shotgun in getting one of the most productive players in at the GNC. Imbery is a headliner who is just entering the twilight of his career.
Team Gems acquired the always solid, and most importantly consistent, Ray Kureluk. Although his play in 2006 lacked the usual steadiness that he is accustomed to, he is expected to adjust his handicap and become a dominant force in 2007. Being a member of 2-time champion Team Gems, will only bolster his efforts.
Both teams felt they had to make a deal. Team Newton has underachieved so dramatically –with their fourth and fifth round meltdown in 2005, and their inability to make the finals in 2006. Captain Jamie Newton needed to be bold in trying to rescue his teams to get ready for ’07.
Kureluk, labouring a case of the “rookie jitters” in the early going of GNC 2006, had put up a 1-4 record during the event.
The knock on Kureluk - team Newton’s 2006 addition – was that he was playing too passively on a team where the most popular players ooze grit. Think Ian Buckingham.
Yet, Kureluk’s talents place him among the tournaments elite players. When at his best, he’s a good putter, who can hit it as straight as the best of them.
The player who went to Team Newton, Gerry Imbery, has posted an impressive record of 14-10-1 over the course of five GNC’s.
Imbery is a clutch player, who can add some grit alongside players such as Paul Newton. Imbery had a slow start in 2006, but finished strong by winning the Most Valuable Player Award.
It’s arguably the biggest trade in Team Newton history, who have remained fairly consistent with their player selections over the course of six GNC’s.
Newton says he only talked to Team Gems about a trade involving Imbery & Kureluk, but unnamed sources can attest that other players may have been discussed as potential trade bait, namely Paul Newton.
“When you’re struggling like we have been, you think different scenarios out,” Jamie said on Wednesday. “It wasn’t like our focus was on trading Kureluk and acquiring Imbery. It’s just something that came up, and we jumped on it.”
“Our focus was to better the team.”
But as earlier reported, it is rumoured that some dissension in the Team Gems camp is what initiated the move. Speculation was that Team Gems was not happy with some of the off season moves initiated by Imbery; namely acquiring Kevin Gilles, and not finding a spot for returning alumni, Nick Gems.
What was evident the day the blockbuster was announced was that the talk around Team Gems was about Imbery leaving, and the buzz around Team Newton centred on Imbery arriving. Kureluk was not the focus of many conversations, and that’s the way that Team Gems Player Steve Furze likes it. “Ray Kureluk flashy? No. The best swing out there? Certainly not. But he’s a competitor – one of the best I’ve seen. “
With the departure of Imbery, next up for Team Gems is to name a new Captain. Early front runners include Dave Lockhart, and returning alumni Nick Gems, but don’t count out veterans like Don Manery & Steve Furze.