With NHL on ice, try curling

"...curling’s broadcast season began Thursday. There will be games through the weekend, on Sportsnet and CBC, check your local listings."

Well, finally there is some top class, live, on-ice competition on television.

You guessed it, curling’s broadcast season began Thursday.  There will be games through the weekend, on Sportsnet and CBC, check your local listings.

So the NHL impasse will become even less interesting to Canadians. The annoying part of the NHL stoppage now is that it hasn’t stopped the deluge of talking head, “experts,” babbling on what could be usable air time.

Despite what the networks and the babblers, seem to believe, there are all sorts of interesting games and events in all sorts of interesting sports that aren’t pro hockey that could be broadcast at limited cost to much greater audiences than the babblers can possibly attract.

Last I looked the babblers were all about reminiscing of the olden days, past trades and the like, at pretty decent salaries. Why hasn’t the uninteresting lot of them been laid off, like all the office, concession, souvenir booth, ticket booth, janitorial and parking workers who have no hopes of earning their meager wages in the foreseeable future?

Hard to believe anyone is still tuning in, or that advertisers are still footing bills, for wasted air, and air time, these guys are burning.

One wishes the NHL and NHLPA negotiators were working as much.

•Meanwhile, local junior A and B squads are still more entertaining than the pro teams, and there are games in both their arenas this weekend.

The Smoke Eaters, still in need of a strong push for standings points, host two tough clubs this weekend in Prince George and Penticton.

Trail has played well since coming out of a losing streak a fortnight ago, but is in need of some dynamism from its front lines, particularly with some of the league’s best scorers coming to town.

Beaver Valley is a conundrum. Their offense has been shut down a lot lately, and even when they seem to have it together, as with Tuesday when they stormed the opposition end consistently and scored six times, aren’t getting over the hump very often.

Its unusual, to say the least, for Terry Jones to need stratagems to get the team on course this far into the season. Not panic time yet, but two losses to the Grand Forks Border Bruins already this year means he has a lot of work to do.

Sunday afternoon Nitehawk fans have a chance to see how that is going.

• It’s going to be a long wait, but Canadian baseball fans are already chafing at the bit to see whether the Blue Jays have actually become championship contenders with their big trade the other day. Spring training is just over two months away.