Battle of the Blades eases back onto the ice

Tonight’s season two premiere of CBC’s Battle of the Blades is a bit of a free skate. There’s no actual competition, with tonight’s show more of an hour long introduction of the eight ex-NHLers and eight female figure skating champions taking part in this season’s competition.
I had a sneak peak of the hour Friday in Toronto up in executive producer John Brunton’s corner office at Insight Productions. The room is crammed with photos and memorabilia of Brunton’s more than two decades in the TV biz, along with a plush moose head, a felt top hat and an autographed Curtis Joseph Maple Leaf sweater. Behind Brunton’s desk is that famous black and white photo of Muhammad Ali KO-ing Sonny Liston.
Former Calgary Flame sniper Theo Fleury and two-time Russian pairs Olympic gold medalist Ekaterina Gordeeva (above) are in this year’s Blades battle but are not necessarily skating together. Read more about who’s on the ice this season in this feature I wrote for Sunday’s Toronto Star. The actual pairs won’t be announced until Monday. The real competition begins next Sunday night, Oct. 3, on CBC.

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