Battle Of The Blades

From a media release – August 21, 2009:

CBC’S BATTLE OF THE BLADES TO BE BROADCAST FROM MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN FRONT OF A LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE

  • Four-time Stanley Cup Champion Claude Lemieux added to the men’s roster

Beginning Sunday, October 4, CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES will open the doors to historic Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time to former world class female figure skaters and NHL players in a fierce pairs competition of athleticism, drama and intrigue.

Hosts Ron MacLean and Kurt Browning will welcome a live studio audience and viewers from across the country to the legendary ice surface for this seven-week ground breaking event. Information on obtaining tickets will be available shortly.

In addition to the announced venue, former Conn Smythe trophy winner and agitator Claude Lemieux has signed on to compete in BATTE OF THE BLADES. Over the course of his 20-year career Lemieux played for Montreal, New Jersey, Colorado, Phoenix, Dallas and San Jose collecting 786 points and 1,777 penalty minutes. The Buckingham, Que. native replaces Sean Burke who was unable to participate due to professional obligations.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht with development by Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.

(Photo: Enforcers Tie Domi (left) and Bob Probert (right) face-off in BATTLE OF THE BLADES on CBC Television this October.)

Beginning Sunday, October 4, CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES will open the doors to historic Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time to former world class female figure skaters and NHL players in a fierce pairs competition of athleticism, drama and intrigue.

Hosts Ron MacLean and Kurt Browning will welcome a live studio audience and viewers from across the country to the legendary ice surface for this seven-week ground breaking event.  Information on obtaining tickets will be available shortly.

In addition to the announced venue, former Conn Smythe trophy winner and agitator Claude Lemieux has signed on to compete in BATTE OF THE BLADES. Over the course of his 20-year career Lemieux played for Montreal, New Jersey, Colorado, Phoenix, Dallas and San Jose collecting 786 points and 1,777 penalty minutes. The Buckingham, Que. native replaces Sean Burke who was unable to participate due to professional obligations.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht with development by Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.

The grace and athleticism of Canada’s most accomplished and decorated female figure skaters are set to join the star studded cast of CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES, premiering in October. With a combined total of 17 Olympic and World Champion medals, Jamie Salé, Shae- Lynn Bourne, Isabelle Brasseur, Barbara Underhill, Marie-France Dubreuil, Christine Hough-Sweeney, Jodeyne Higgins and Kristina Lenko have reached the pinnacle of success in amateur and professional figure skating.  Now these elite athletes face their biggest challenge yet – making eight NHL hockey stars understand the nuances and skill of pairs skating.

In addition to these world class female figure skaters, NHL’ers Sean Burke, Ken Daneyko and Ron Duguay have been added to complete the men’s roster. They join previously announced Glenn Anderson, Tie Domi, Bob Probert, Craig Simpson and Stéphane Richer in a fierce competition of athleticism, drama and intrigue. Due to a recent injury, Lanny McDonald is unable to participate in the competition.

Salé and her partner David Pelletier captured the hearts and minds of Canadians with gold medal performances at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.  Ten-time Canadian Dance Champion Bourne with her partner Victor Kraatz became the first North American ice dance team ever to capture the World Figure Skating Championship title with their innovative and dynamic style. They were inducted into the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007.  Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler were fearless in their routines and defied gravity with their athletic style of powerful throws and daring lifts.  The two-time pairs Olympic bronze medallists and 1993 World Champions were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Five- time Canadian Pair Champions Underhill and Paul Martini’s flawless 1984 World Championship performance is considered one of Canada’s great sporting moments. As professionals they dominated pairs skating for a decade and were inducted into the Canadian Figure Skating, Canadian Sports and Canadian Olympic Halls of Fame and this past winter, the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Two-time World Figure Skating silver medallists Dubreuil and partner/ husband Patrice Lauzon transformed ice dancing with their breathtakingly romantic free dance Somewhere in Time.  Retired from amateur competition two years ago, they continue to perform as professionals.

Hough-Sweeney and her partner Doug Ladret represented Canada at two Winter Olympic Games and enjoyed a prolific professional career including an appearance in the movie Cutting Edge as a Russian pairs team.  Former world team member Jodeyne Higgins with her husband and partner Sean Rice are true ice show gypsies. For the past 10 years they have performed as an adagio pair in exotic locations from Hong Kong to Moscow to the famed Le Lido in Paris. Former international dance competitor Lenko has made her mark as an audience favorite in the Torvill and Dean’s Dancing On Ice television series in the U.K. and Australia.  

Out to prove that goaltenders are truly the better skaters; Burke brings 20-years of NHL goaltending experience to the cast. The Windsor, Ontario native ranks in the top-20 in all-time wins and represented Canada at the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics.

A three-time Stanley Cup Champion with New Jersey, Daneyko brings an imposing presence to the ice. His rugged playing style spanned the course of 20-years, all with the Devils, amassing 2,516 penalty minutes.  The ever popular Ron Duguay burst onto the NHL scene in 1977 and quickly developed an iconic following while playing for the New York Rangers. His smooth skating and stylish looks led to a professional hockey career spanning three decades. He currently works as an in-studio hockey analyst.

Lanny Mcdonald, Glenn Anderson, Tie Domi, Bob Probert, Craig Simpson and Stéphane Richer on Battle Of The Blades

CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean and four-time World Figure Skating Champion Kurt Browning to host national pairs competition

CBC Television announced today the first competitors to sign on to participate in CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES. NHL Hall of Famer and fan favourite Lanny McDonald, NHL Hall of Famer and six-time Stanley Cup-winner Glenn Anderson, legendary enforcers Tie Domi and Bob Probert, two-time Stanley Cup-winner and HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA analyst Craig Simpson, and two-time Stanley Cup-winner Stéphane Richer will go head-to-head in this fierce competition. These hockey heavyweights will be paired with some of Canada’s top female figure skaters in a competitive and thrilling pairs showdown beginning this October.

“Whatever else you can say about Canadians, they know hockey and they know figure skating—and are passionate about both,” said Kirstine Layfield, CBC Television’s executive director of network programming. “We’re going to bring the two together in a way that’s never been seen before. It’s going to be great.”

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s Ron MacLean and Canadian figure skating icon Kurt Browning host the seven-week BATTLE OF THE BLADES series. Browning’s storied international career and his infectious personality combined with MacLean’s deep-rooted knowledge and passion for hockey will provide viewers with the insight and intricacies of both sports and their unlikely combination.

All-Star forward Probert holds the Detroit Red Wings’ franchise record for career penalty minutes. Domi is one of the most popular players to ever don a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and ranks third overall in penalty minutes in NHL history.

A gentleman both on and off the ice, McDonald’s contribution to his teams and community earned him both the Bill Masterson and King Clancy Memorial trophies. Simpson’s influence extends from playing to coaching and currently as an analyst on CBC’s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. Simpson is the last Edmonton Oiler to score over 50 goals in one season. Richer is one of the all-time leaders in playoff overtime goals and is the last Montreal Canadien to score over 50 goals in a season. Anderson is considered one of the all-time great playoff performers with 214 playoff points, ranking him fourth overall in playoff history.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht, and development of Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.