The Canadian men's curling championship opened Saturday at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

The Ontario team led by Glenn Howard, along with Alberta's Kevin Martin and Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton were co-favourites heading into 84th Canadian men's curling championship.

The host team of Martin, John Morris and front-end Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert are the reigning Olympic champions.

Stoughton is a three-time Brier winner.

Howard, Martin and Stoughton were also the first three teams to secure berths in December's Olympic trials in Winnipeg.

Howard's Ontario team includes Wayne Middaugh, Brent Lang and Craig Savill.

Martin and Stoughton opened a round-robin against each other Saturday evening, while Ontario faced B.C.'s Andrew Bilesky.

The top four teams at the conclusion of the preliminary round on Friday will advance to the playoff, and the winner of the March 10 final will represent Canada at the world championship March 20 to April 7 in Victoria B.C.

With files from The Canadian Pess