Monday, 26 October 2009

OT: Blades

CBC Television's ongoing Battle of the Blades scores on several fronts.

At the top of the list is the opportunity to see the inside of the landmark Maple Leaf Gardens after a tenuous 10 years of Loblaw ownership.

The return of ice, lights, performances, laughter, applause.

And the transition of former NHL hockey greats from hard-hitting players to more graceful, competitive figure skaters is oh, so sweet. Who knew?

Once upon a time, the measure of a man's testosterone during the deep freeze of a Toronto winter was determined by his TV viewing preference - NHL games or figure skating.

Battle of the Blades is blurring that line once drawn in the ice.

Macho men are admitting they are watching Battle of the Blades and that is a huge credit to the production team that made it all happened.

Drawing Tie Domi and seven other retired NHL players into the figure skating arena and making them look good with their female partners is creative television programming.

The players are doing it all for charity, but their competitive spirit clearly isn't allowing them to soft-pedal the challenge. They are in it to win.

Cheering them on are other retired hockey players, including Red Kelly, who was on Maple Leaf Gardens ice in the 1960s when Stanley Cups were being won.

Question of the day: Pay top dollar for tickets to see the embarrassing, low-flying 0-8 Maple Leafs at the ACC, or five bucks to watch a gathering of good-spirited former NHLers doing loops at the Gardens?

Same here.

But back to the use of Maple Leaf Gardens, where we watched Elvis Presley perform in 1957, saw the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, and attended Leafs games that involved Stanley Cup winners.

Glad to see the Gardens hanging in there. Hopefully, Battle of the Blades is just the first of many new ventures for the building.

1 comment:

  1. It is great to have events back at the Gardens however it pains me to see it in such a state. Our hockey shrine deserves better.