New Look. Like?

What do you folks think of our new look?  A little sleeker and “hockey-ish” than the last one, right?  Let me know in the comments.

Battle of the Blades Finale

The final decision will be in the hands of Canadians, Sunday, Nov. 15, as they choose who of the remaining three pairs will win BATTLE OF THE BLADES, at Toronto’s historic Maple Leaf Gardens. Results will then be announced during a full-blown ice extravaganza, which is set for the series finale, Monday, Nov. 16. Both shows start at 8 p.m., on CBC Television.


The final battle begins on Sunday, when the following three remaining pairs will perform to music of their choice: Shae-Lynn Bourne and Claude Lemieux, Marie-France Dubreuil and Stéphane Richer, and Jamie Salé and Craig Simpson. Competition shifts to collaboration after the individual performances when the members of all three pairs join together for a special group performance. The evening will also begin in style with a special group number featuring the men from BATTLE OF THE BLADES.


The competition wraps up the following night with a special one-hour show for the finale results episode. Kicking things off will be a group performance featuring all eight pairs from the competition, set to the show’s theme song, Bryan Adams’ There Will Never Be Another Tonight.


Monday’s show will also include a guest performance by the show’s co-host and skating mentor Kurt Browning, followed by a special routine by returning competitor Barbara Underhill and her former professional skating partner Paul Martini. This will be the first time Underhill and Martini have skated together since they performed a farewell show at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens in 1998.


The magic on the ice continues with a guest performance by Salé and her husband and skating partner David Pelletier, who as a coach on the show has also been featured in weekly Point of View segments offering tips on figure skating. Dubreuil and her husband and professional skating partner Patrice Lauzon will also join together on the ice for a special guest performance.


When the winning pair is revealed, on Monday’s show, they will receive a $100,000 cheque made out to the charity of their choice. Three charities remain as possible recipients of this prize money. Bourne and Lemieux are skating for Make-A-Wish Canada; Dubreuil and Richer are competing for MA Fondation; and Salé and Simpson are battling it out for The Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society.


Viewers can learn more about the competitors at, the official online portal for the series and the source for everything about BATTLE OF THE BLADES. In addition to videos and behind-the-scene photos, the site offers viewers the opportunity to become fans of their favourite pair and track each participant’s activity as they strive to be the final pair remaining at the end of the series.



BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht with development by Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.



5 Pitches For Shows VERSUS Needs to Develop

We’re none too bright, readers.  But the mere fact is that this bit worked really well yesterday, and people seemed to genuinely enjoy our ideas.  I’m a man of simple ideals: if the people like something, give ’em more of what they want.  Here’s 5 potential hit series for VERSUS, and we promise on our lives that none of them are called “Seriously, When Are We Getting A Nightly Hockey Show, Jackasses?”

1. Inside the NHL – It’s my concept, and therefore I’m free to pitch VERSUS on shows that already existed in a previous time.  Inside the NHL was a rather impressively put together bit of filmmaking: shot, edited and put on the HDNet airwaves in what had appeared to have been 1-2 days, it featured interviews with the game’s biggest stars who were participating in that night’s HDNet game (I miss you, HDNet.  Come back sometime.).  Hosted by Dan Moriarty, it also featured your standard NHL-produced featurettes and NHL highlights set to popular rock songs (R.E.M., Against Me!, Armor For Sleep).

Now, the fact is that – while VERSUS straying away from doing a nightly hockey show is likely a cost problem – the network does not devote enough hours to hockey.  This is an entertaining, fairly cheap alternative to airing an actual pre-game show.  At worst, HDNet’s biggest cost while doing the show was likely Moriarty (who did double duty as the reporter on that night’s game – hello Charissa Thompson!) and the licensing money for the songs (Michael Stipe don’t come cheap).  Still, VERSUS, you’re spending millions on hockey, throw us 30 minutes a week of pleasant features.

2. Hockeywood – VERSUS won our love for getting the rights to air Slap Shot as the season started.  How about a documentarian look into various hockey forays into the cinema world.  It could include past films (“Youngblood”, “Miracle” or even that stupid CBC show with the Puck Bunnies), future movies (“Hit Somebody” anyone?) and anything else that gets the Hanson Brothers on my TV more often.

3. Player Cam – Now, we’ve seen this feature utilized before, but never like this.  Say you spend a night isolating Alexander Ovechkin.  Chop up the best of the footage with the commentary to the game, and air it the night after as “Ovechkin in 30”.  This is a great idea for regional networks too.  You can incorporate a mic’d up feature as well.  Just a half-hour of Ovechkin shifts, Crosby shifts, Parise/Getzlaf/YouNameIt shifts could be a really entertaining twist on the whole highlight show idea.

4.  Adrian Dater Talks to Animals – This is made much more annoying that we can’t embed it here. NHL writer, Denver Post columnist and our good Adrian Dater chats with animals, including Chris Pronger.  (“Chris Pronger, I’m not jokin’ around!  This thing could be huge!… Well, say ‘Hi’ to your mother for me.”  “You had a beard in the playoffs.  I had a beard when I wrote that column bashing Nashville.  Did you see that?”)

5. Okay, Now Really Seriously, When Are We Getting a Hockey Show, Jackasses? – I am not a man who keeps his promises.  VERSUS hinted at experimenting with more studio coverage post Olympics.  Do it.  DO IT.  DOOOOOO ITTTTTTTT!  Can we all agree that VERSUS should, at very least, air a nightly hockey show the last 6-8 weeks of the season just to get casual people used to VERSUS on a night-by-night basis.  Like we’ve said in the past, don’t do it on nights you have Hockey Central and a game.  Just three-four original extra half-hours a week.  It’s so simple.

NHL Hour at New Time

Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman on SIRIUS XM Radio at its new, 3 p.m. ET broadcast time.

Campbell will join Commissioner Bettman to review the issues that were discussed during the NHL General Managers meetings this week in Toronto.

The show encourages fans to call in with questions for the Commissioner.  To submit questions to NHL Hour call 1-877-645-6696. NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman now broadcasts live on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 204 and on SIRIUS Channel 208 as part of the “Best of XM” programming package) and  The show will re-air on SIRIUS XM Radio, with archived shows available for download via podcast on

That’s NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman, now Thursdays at 3 p.m. ET.

HNIC iPhone App

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA has introduced a new way for hockey fans to follow every player, every goal and every game with the all-new CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Application for iPhone and iPod Touch. The free app, launched this week, provides users with instant access to live box scores, statistics and results from all NHL games whenever and wherever they are.


Game statistics are broken down for every team, player and game. Division and conference standings are instantly updated, as are NHL player highlights. Users can find out who is leading the NHL in points, goals, plus/minus, goals against average, save percentage and wins.


The new iPhone and iPod Touch app features breaking news headlines, comprehensive stories and in-depth features from, and users can navigate the complete NHL schedule including CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA broadcasts.


The free app can be downloaded by visiting or by visiting the Free Application section of the iTunes store.


CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages.

Maybe Leno Can Get Lucky For Once

BURBANK, Calif. – November 11, 2009 – On Thursday, November 12 recent inductee to the NHL Hall of Fame Luc Robitaille will take to the ice on “The Jay Leno Show” (Monday-Friday, 10-11 p.m. ET).  The Stanley Cup winner will take penalty shots on Leno’s IT guy in a segment called “Extreme Johnny.”

Robitaille made the NHL All-Star team 8 times in his career and logged 668 career goals and adding 726 assists.  The left winger skated for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New York Rangers, the Detroit Red Wings and the Los Angeles Kings.

Thursday’s show will also feature an in-studio visit by Penelope Cruz and a “Ten @ Ten” with Dolly Parton.

90’s Game Show Thursday