Last night on CBC, ‘Battle of the Blades’ opened its fourth season and with three former Los Angeles Kings, the representation of the silver-and-black was at its highest since the show’s inception in 2009.
Now, all in fairness, of the three former Kings, only Mike Krushelnyski played in Los Angeles for more than two seasons (he spent three with the Kings) so the most diehard of Kings fans may not be put him, Anson Carter or Scott Thornton on the same pedestal as, say, Marty McSorley or Bernie Nicholls.
Nevertheless, the three former Kings participating was enough to get me to attend the season premiere of Season Four. Shamefully, I am sorry to admit that I never watched an episode of ‘Battle of the Blades’ before and to be perfectly honest, I am even sorrier I held out so long.
Aside from watching the first few seasons of American Idol with my late mother, reality TV was never a favourite genre of mine. In fact, the irony that is “reality” TV is more sad than amusing but that’s a discussion for another day.
While there are many fans of such competition shows as ‘Dancing With the Stars’, a lot of good can be taken from ‘Battle of the Blades.’
While on the surface it seems simple for former NHLers to be paired up with Olympic figure skaters in terms of chemistry and performance, there is actually quite a bit of difference and a lot of adjusting as a result.
For the NHLers who are taking part in Season Four of ‘Battle of the Blades’, there are 10 Stanley Cup rings between them – yet, as Krushelnyski told CBC, winning a Stanley Cup was easier than learning how to figure skate. That certainly says something not only of the difficulty figure skating brings but the humility that so many of the NHLers have received as a result.
After four weeks of training, all the pairs involved in last night’s season premiere performed exceptionally well. With the reservation of minor slipups here and there (mostly all from the NHLers) all the teams put on quite an opening performance.
Anson Carter, who played 15 games for the Kings in 2004, is paired with Canadian Olympian Shae-Lynn Bourne. Carter’s charity is Shirt Off My Back, a Los Angeles-based organization he helped form which is a clothing foundation formed to raise money to supply uniforms to underprivileged school children in Africa.
To learn about Shirt Off My Back, please visit their website at www.somb.com and see how you can contribute.
Scott Thornton played the final two of his 18 NHL seasons with the Los Angeles Kings and is paired with Amanda Evora who was a two-time United States Pairs Silver Medalist (2009, 2010) and a 2011 US Pairs Bronze Medalist.
Mike Krushelnyski, who, aside from being traded from Edmonton to Los Angeles in the famous Wayne Gretzky deal, is most notoriously known by yours truly as the player who scored that impossible overtime goal from his chest in the 1990 playoffs to eliminate the then-defending champion Calgary Flames. Krushelnyski has been paired with Marcey Hinzmann who was a US Pairs Bronze Medalist in 2005 and a US Pairs Silver Medalist in 2006.
For those of you interested in watching, tune into CBC every Sunday evening at 8pm EST. If you do not have CBC, follow along on www.cbc.ca/battle.
If the season premiere was any indication, Season Four of ‘Battle of the Blades’ should be quite exciting. While I wish the best of luck to all participants, I do have my heart set on one of the three former Kings.
Yes, I’m bias but I don’t care.