Sunday, November 8, 2009

Skating With the Stars

by Jan Snyder

I’m not really sure why, but I LOVE Dancing with the Stars. Cheesy as it, and as many times as I say I’m not watching, it keeps pulling me back in - even this “season” when “stars” is used quite loosely. I’ve never even heard of some of these people. On top of all that, they change the rules all the time and add new dances at the drop of a top hat!

                                              Craig Simpson and Jamie Sale, contestants Battle of the Blades

But I love the dancing, I love the costumes, I love watching how hard some of these people will work to perform a great dance, so there I am – watching again. Athletes seem to do exceptionally well on this show – with some exceptions – like Michael Irvin, who I thought would do better.

Then I heard about Battle of the Blades – basically Dancing with the Stars with hockey players! What a stroke of brilliance! The only problem is the program is carried only on CBC in Canada and most of us south of their border can’t watch it.

Battle of the Blades has taken some NHL tough guys and paired them with elegant figure skaters. Bob Probert, Tie Domi, Ken Daneyko, and Claude Lemieux don’t exactly evoke elegance when you remember them beating someone to a pulp. Throw in Glenn Anderson, Craig Simpson and (my personal favorite) Ron Duguay, and you’ve got a great show!

                                          Claude Lemieux and Shae-Lynn Bourne, contestants, Battle of the Blades
Just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean I couldn’t love it. After all, I loved The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives or the U.S. version, MVP, when it made it to the Soap Network – but was short-lived.

One day this week, I heard one of my favorite hockey guys, E.J. Hradek, talking about Battle of the Blades and how good it is. E.J. was lobbying for the NHL Network to pick up the show here so Americans could see it. He thought it would draw an audience. I totally agree! Didn’t I say I love dancing (skating), costumes, and how hard these people will work to perform well? Not to mention that fact that although I love the NHL Network, repetition is its middle name. How many times a day can someone watch NHL on the Fly? Or the 1958 Stanley Cup series? Show us something fun like Battle of the Blades.

Who would you like to see skating with a real figure skater? Personally, I would like to see a different Lemieux – Mario! He would be wonderful dressed in pastels and paired with a petite little skater. How about Darren Pang? He even resembles a figure skater, Scott Hamilton. I can see John Vanbiesbrouck giving it a go or Pierre Larouche making for a fun performance. There are distinct possibilities here!

So, please, NHL Network, heed the advice of E.J. and show us Battle of the Blades – just don’t schedule it up against Dancing with the Stars!

They are down to the final three pairs on Battle of the Blades. For more information, please visit the official Battle of the Blades website.

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