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Loose Change: The beginning of the end?

OK, I admit it. I watched pretty much every episode of Battle of the Blades. For those of you south of the border or in serious denial, Battle of the Blades is a TV show in which ex-NHLers pair up with (female) professional figure skaters in a dance-off/booty challenge.

Each week a couple is eliminated until only one is left standing. It’s Survivor meets West Side Story, only this time the blades have moved from the hands to the feet.

My initial interest (besides a certain ethereal fixation with Spandex) came from my love for train wrecks. While I knew there would be the odd NHLer who would take to flamboyance and elegance like a duck to other ducks, I figured at least one would slip up, lose an edge and go flying into the third row. I fully expected at least one to have a heated disagreement with a score from Dick Button (that name sounds so dirty) and end up punching his way to a 6.0, but there was nothing of the sort.

Not only did the hockey competitors prove worthy, they flourished. I base this on two theories, one being their basic competitive nature. If Tie Domi can throw his partner eight feet in the air I’ll throw mine nine and have her land next to the concession stand, popcorn in hand.

The second theory is how guys tend to (predictably) act around beautiful women. They will attempt to one-up each other until someone does something dangerous or stupid (like a pirouette). Add a hag or two and the blades never leave the ground.

Of course, the show is a natural draw for women. You take the artistry and romanticism of regular figure skating, only this time you nicely complete the female fantasy by adding a rough and tumble male lead.

In contrast, the men out there and the diehard hockey fans among us are reeling. On the one hand they want to support their puck heroes in their crazy endeavours (you couldn’t have tried curling?), but on the other they know guys who score 40 goals aren’t supposed to bend like that (or at least look like they openly enjoy doing so).

It opens such a Pandora’s Box.

If I watch – and like – Battle of the Blades does that mean I should also watch regular figure skating because, if I choose not to, that would mean I’m watching Battle of the Blades simply for the men, wouldn’t it?

And if Don Cherry supports it does that mean his future use of the term “sweetheart” has lost all meaning? And if hockey players can enter their world does that mean figure skaters will soon enter mine? Will Brian Boitano be coaching Alex Ovechkin on how to utilize the triple salchow on a breakaway?

What’s next, third jerseys with boas?

The hockey world and the figure skating world were never meant to converge. They’re alternate universes separated by toe picks and mouth guards. Now it’s like cats marrying dogs, up is down, black is white. Claude Lemieux is stubble, not supple. Bob Probert has meat fists, not jazz hands.

It’s enough to make a hockey fan cry. I mean, get real angry and stuff.

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, brings you Loose Change every second Tuesday. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Check out his website at

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For the first time ever, you have a chance to buy original Hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoons straight from the source (I finally wrangled the rights from my Taiwanese overlords). They are perfect as gift even if the recipient has the exact same name as you.

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