Team Canada, from left, Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden, Geoff Walker and coach Caleb Flaxey kick off the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship on Saturday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Canada’s Team Brad Gushue is ready to compete against 12 other nations worldwide at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship at IWC Arena in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

The team opens the round-robin schedule with a pair of games this Saturday. Canada begins with a match against Team Lukas Klima of Czechia at 9 a.m. (all times ET) and caps the day off against Germany’s Team Marc Muskatewitz at 2 p.m.

Skip Gushue, of St. John’s, N.L., and his team from RE/MAX Centre, St. John’s Curling Club, are among the favourites in the 13-team field at the upcoming world men’s championship. He and vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton earned silver at last year’s championship in Ottawa and are aiming for an upgrade this week in Switzerland.

Team Gushue has reached the gold-medal game in all four world championship appearances, winning gold in 2017 and silver in 2018 and ’22, in addition to last season’s silver.

Kyle Doering joins Canada this season as the team’s alternate.

The men’s field is a who’s who of curling, also featuring past world men’s champion Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland (2023) and six-time world champion and Olympic gold-medallist Niklas Edin and his team from Sweden. Edin isn’t the only Olympic champion in the mix. Team John Shuster of the United States is back at the world championship to maintain its ongoing international opposition against Gushue at world championships.

Those teams are only the tip of the iceberg, as there are plenty of others within striking distance of the podium, including world number-one ranked Team Joel Retornaz of Italy and home-country favourites Team Yannick Schwaller of Switzerland, which will be playing in front of capacity crowds all week long.

Teams are not only playing for a world championship. The 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship will be the first event where countries can earn qualifying points to compete at the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Italy.

Combined results of the 2024 and 2025 (at Moose Jaw, Sask.) World Men’s Curling Championships will determine the seven countries that will join the host Italians in the 10-team field that will compete at the Olympic Ice Stadium in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The final two countries will be determined at the Olympic Qualification Event in early December 2025.

The 13-team field includes Japan’s Team Shinya Abe, Team Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands, New Zealand’s Team Anton Hood, Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell and South Korea’s Team Jongduk Park.

Round-robin play runs through to Friday, April 5, with the top six teams making the playoffs; no tiebreaker games will be played, so ties for playoffs spots are broken based on head-to-head results, and if that doesn’t resolve the tie, then the pre-game Last-Shot Draw distances.

The top two teams from the round robin are seeded directly into the semifinals on April 6 at 10 a.m., while the third will play sixth and the fourth will play fifth in the qualifying-round games at 4 a.m.

The winners of the qualifying-round games advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will play for gold on April 7 at 9 a.m., while the losing teams will play for bronze at 4 a.m.

Here is Canada’s full schedule (all times ET):

Saturday, March 30
9 a.m. vs. Czechia (Team Lukas Klima)
2 p.m. vs. Germany (Team Marc Muskatewitz)

Sunday, March 31
8 a.m. vs. Scotland (Team Bruce Mouat)

Monday, April 1
8 a.m. vs. Italy (Team Joel Retornaz)

Tuesday, April 2 
3 a.m. vs. New Zealand (Team Anton Hood)
1 p.m. vs. United States (Team John Shuster)

Wednesday, April 3
3 a.m. vs. Netherlands (Team Wouter Goesgens)
1 p.m. vs South Korea (Team Jongduk Park)

Thursday, April 4
3 a.m. vs. Norway (Team Magnus Ramsfjell)
1 p.m. vs. Sweden (Team Niklas Edin)

Friday, April 5
8 a.m. vs. Japan (Team Shinya Abe)
1 p.m. vs. Switzerland (Team Yannick Schwaller)

Saturday, April 6
4 a.m. – Qualification Games*
10 a.m. – Semifinals*

Sunday, April 7
4 a.m. – Bronze-medal game*
9 a.m. – Gold-medal game*

*pending qualification