At first it is a jarring sight to see a former NHL player wearing figure skates, but it also makes for a terrific TV show. CBC's hit show "Battle of the Blades" debuted Monday night with a 60-minute Game On episode.
An instant success, the show partners former NHL players with accomplished, internationally known figure skaters and challenges the duos to take the ice for a live, choreographed ice dancing routine after a week of preparation.
The show adheres to a familiar format. There are two live 8 p.m. episodes each week, one of which is a 30-minute results show, in which pairings face elimination.
By the end of the eight head-to-head competition, a winning pairing will be announced and $100,000 will be contributed to a charity of choice.
Last year's NHL winner was Craig Simpson
, who was partnered with long-time friend, Jamie Sale. Simpson found the process of participating to be especially rewarding.
"I'm probably more well known for [competing in Battle of the Blades] than for my two Stanley Cups," he said.
While fun and a bit more notoriety add to the excitement of participating, the real thrill is competition. Take Shae-Lynn Bourne, for instance. After finishing in second place alongside former NHL player Claude Lemieux
, Bourne decided to return for Season 2. The chance at revenge was too attractive to pass up.
"You don't go into it saying you don't want to win," she said. "We're all very competitive and we all want to win."
The first 90-minute live performance show is slated to begin Oct. 3.
Below is the complete Season 2 cast:
* Theo Fleury
and Jamie Sale
* Georges Laraque
and Anabelle Langlois
* Valeri Bure
and Ekaterina Gordeeva
* Russ Courtnall
and Christine Hough-Sweeney
* Kelly Chase
and Ina Kyoko
* Todd Warriner
and Isabelle Brasseur
* Patrice Brisebois
and Shae-Lynn Bourne
* P.J. Stock
and Violetta Afanasieva