Saskatchewan’s curling scene just doesn’t seem right these days.
Start by looking at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts standings. Saskatchewan, skipped by Moose Jaw’s Penny Barker, started on a horrendous losing streak and was never in contention at the Canadian women’s championship. Meanwhile, Regina’s Michelle Englot is leading a Winnipeg-based rink that has been among the front-runners at the Scotties.
When the Tim Horton’s Brier starts in a couple weeks, the men’s team representing Saskatchewan will be skipped by Adam Casey, an import from Prince Edward Island. Ben Hebert and Pat Simmons, two of Saskatchewan’s best curlers, have more success when they represent other provinces.
Saskatchewan hasn’t won a Canadian’s women’s or junior championships since 2011, which isn’t a bad drought. But it hasn’t had a Brier champion since 1980.
Teams are mixing themselves up, cross-pollinating with other provinces, partly to pursue Olympic success. But it’s starting to look like there aren’t enough top curlers to go around.