Mark Nichols is leaving Team Gushue at the end of the week, once the team wraps up the the Tim Hortons Brier in London, Ontario. The 31-year-old says, “It’s just me wanting to take a break from curling. We travel so much. During the season, I’m away for upwards of 100 days a year and I think it’s time for me to focus on the things that everyone else is doing in their lives — having families and working on careers.” This isn’t a shock to anyone in the know though, as Nichols also says he thought about leaving last year, but Gushue talked him out of it. This time around it seems Gushue is willing to let him go: “Mark has been a great teammate and will continue to be a great friend,” he says, “I am happy for him as he takes on another challenge.”