Former New Jersey Devil Ken Daneyko takes to the ice in Battle of the Blades

imageCBC’s new figure skating reality show Battle of the Blades debuted tonight:

The new reality show debuted with Domi, Craig Simpson and six of their former hockey cohorts managing to avoid any ugly spills while flinging their seasoned partners across the rink, over their shoulders and between their legs in pursuit of viewer votes that could crown them coolest on ice.

The unconventional contest also cast the NHL’rs in a whole new light, with Domi sashaying in a satiny black shirt to the Rolling Stones’ "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction" and former Canadiens player Stephane Richer offering up a stiff attempt at air guitar to Queen’s "We Will Rock You" for the classic rock-themed episode.

While there was plenty of glitz, there were some near disasters, too, with a shaky final lift by former New Jersey Devil Ken Daneyko of Jodeyne Higgins threatening to crumble.

Daneyko hails from Edmonton and is of Ukrainian descent:

Well everybody thinks from my name I am but actually my father was born in East Germany. The name Daneyko [Da-néy-ko], as it’s pronounced in Europe, is East German, but it is probably of Eastern European descent. But, ironically, my mother is full-blood Ukrainian. So it’s not by the name. Everybody thinks that [the Ukrainian background] is from my father’s side, but it’s not my father’s side, it’s my mother’s.

Lelek. My grandmother, who just passed away a few years ago at 93 years old, she was born in Ukraine, so I’ve had many pierogies and pyrohy. It’s probably my favorite food in the world and my mother makes pierogies as good as anybody, so anytime I go back to Edmonton, where I’m from, that’s certainly the meal I ask her for.

Good luck in the competition!

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