Cars were sent to the various training areas where the athletes were preparing for the series. Participants, coaches and choreographers were brought to the downtown office.
Albrecht reports that the female figure skaters on the series, who know best the tough spot Bonhomme is in, have "really taken her under their wings."
Bezic singles out former NHL defenceman Todd Simpson as someone who will help keep things light on and off the ice as Season Three unfolds.
The skating competition is a challenge to pull together at the best of times. Just finding an ice surface from year to year has been a struggle; the Mastercard Centre in Toronto's west end (a Maple Leafs practice facility) is the third venue in three seasons.
That meant somebody a "hero" to use Albrecht's phrase would have to step in at the 11th hour, a tough position under the best of circumstances. How that will be resolved will be answered on Sunday's opening episode.
Then there is wrangling former NHL athletes to give up three or four months Nike Air Max 2015 Size 9
In seasons past, the graceful female champions have helped the hockey players skate past any stumbles. That burden will now fall on Bonhomme.
"It was very important for us to honour Wade's family and do the right thing Nike Air Max 2015 Blue Red for them," says Bezic. The next thought was for the show, and how to "present Wade in a way that celebrates out short experience with him."
He showed up to one practice already wearing a T shirt which reads, "Craig Simpson, Valeri Bure, Todd Simpson" a reference to his projected place among the past two champs.
of their lives to dedicate to pairs figure skating. Bad knees, family commitments and homes in foreign countries can keep big hockey stars out of the lineup.
The other hero this season is shaping up to be Tessa Bonhomme, part of Team Canada's Gold medal winning women's hockey team at the 2010 Olympics.
As Bezic says, "we don't know if it will be an advantage or a disadvantage."
The producers believed they had a prize recruit this season in Belak. The one time Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer was a crowd pleaser, bringing the kind of edge to the series Tie Domi or Georges Laraque brought in past seasons. Everyone wants to see if tough guys can dance.
On a practical level, Bezic, Albrecht and Insight's John Brunton had to determine quickly if the series could move Air Max Thea Desert Premium
'Battle of the Blades' returns without Belak
"Essentially, we were in a state of shock," says Albrecht. "Nobody could believe what we were reading."
Belak, six other NHL veterans and, for the first time, one female hockey player Tessa Bonhomme committed to this third season and already attended two weeks of prep skating.
Some of the participants were getting bits and pieces of information through mobile devices. By the time they all arrived at the home of iSport and Insight Productions, the full horror of what had happened was beginning to Nike Air Max 2015 Lime Green
Then, on Aug. 31, 35 year old Belak was found dead in a Toronto hotel room, an apparent suicide.
The first thoughts went out to Belak's wife and two young children.
forward with just seven pairs of skaters and if the premiere might have to be delayed. World Team skater Kim Navarro. "She wanted to continue too. She wanted to share in this process."
There are times when making a television show can seem like a life or death struggle. Then, suddenly, tragedy strikes and puts everything in perspective. ET.
"Tessa is the perfect guinea pig," says Bezic, who always wanted to work female hockey players into the "Battle of the Blades" mix. "She's game, willing to try anything and her height is manageable for a male figure skater."
Bonhomme is paired on the competition with Olympic pairs champ David Pelletier, who acted as a coach the previous two seasons.
"That day and moment for all of us was very surreal," says Kevin Albrecht. He was at his downtown Toronto iSport Media office with producing partner and on air judge Sandra Bezic when word of Belak's death arrived. The original plan that night had been to attend the Gemini Awards (where "Battle of the Blades" would win in the best variety category), but thoughts of triumph were wiped out by the tragedy.
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