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Former NHLers gear up for Battle of the Blades finale

Friday, 11.15.2013 / 4:45 PM / News

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Former NHLers gear up for Battle of the Blades finale
Battle of the Blades, the highest-rated original Canadian format television program, will crown a new champion on Nov. 17. Jason Strudwick, Mathieu Dandenault and Scott Thornton are the finalists.

Battle of the Blades, the highest-rated original Canadian format television program, will crown a new champion on Nov. 17.

The innovative TV competition that pairs hockey players with figure skating champions has become a massive hit in Canada and is down to its final three contestants.

Viewers of the program voted for their favorites through Nov. 15 and the winner will be announced on CBC on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will receive $100,000 for the charity of his choice while the second- and third-place finisher will get $35,000 and $30,000, respectively.

The former NHL players making up this year's finalist are Jason Strudwick, Mathieu Dandenault and Scott Thornton. The show started with eight teams and has been whittled down to these three through a series of eliminations involving fan voting as well as scores handed down from a celebrity judging panel.

To get this far, each former player worked with a professional skating partner assigned to him by the show's producers. Thornton, drafted No. 3 by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1989, skated with two-time U.S. pairs silver medalist Amanda Evora. A three-time Stanley Cup champion, Dandenault is partnered with five-time Canadian ice dancing champion Marie-France Dubreuil. Strudwick, who played 14 seasons in the NHL, is skating with Extreme Ice Skating world champion Violetta Afanasieva.

Last season's Battle of the Blades champions were David Pelletier and Canadian national women's team member Tessa Bonhome. It marked the first time a team consisting of a female hockey player and male figure skater won the competition.

For more information about Battle of the Blades, visit cbc.ca/battle.

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp