By Nathan Denette – The Canadian Press

Glenn Howard and his rink from Coldwater, Ont., have emerged as top seed in the major international pre-Olympic curling showdown in Canada.

Howard and Canada begins the bid to defend the 2006 men’s gold medal won by Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue in the Capital One grand slam of curling later this month.

The draw schedule for the Grey Power World Cup October 21-25, 2009 and the women’s Three Nations Cup were published Tuesday.

The first leg of the men’s 2009-10 grand slam series will take place from October 21-25, 2009 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

The Grey Power World Cup is an elite 14-team international tournament featuring the world’s top Olympic qualifiers.

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