Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, of Canada, compete in the pairs free skate at the World Figure Skating Championhips in Vancouver in March 2001. Salé will skate with an NHL player for Battle of the Blades. ((Amy Sancetta/Canadian Press))

Some of Canada's most accomplished female skaters, including Jamie Salé, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Barbara Underhill, are to join the cast of the CBC reality television series Battle of the Blades.

The women have the task of teaching eight NHL hockey stars how to become pairs figure skaters on the seven-week series, which begins this October.

Salé and partner David Pelletier won gold at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, and Bourne, with her partner Victor Kraatz, became the first North American ice dance team ever to capture the World Figure Skating Championship.

Underhill was a five-time Canadian national champion with Paul Martini.

Other participants include:

  • Isabelle Brasseur, who was an Olympic bronze medallist with partner Lloyd Eisler.
  • Marie-France Dubreuil, who transformed ice dancing with husband Patrice Lauzon.
  • Christine Hough-Sweeney, who represented Canada at two Olympic Games with her partner Doug Ladret.
  • Jodeyne Higgins, who has performed for the past 10 years as a professional pairs skater.
  • Kristina Lenko, an international dance competitor.

NHL players Sean Burke, Ken Daneyko and Ron Duguay have been added to the men's roster.

Glenn Anderson, Tie Domi, Bob Probert, Craig Simpson and Stéphane Richer were previously announced, but player Lanny McDonald has dropped out because of injury.

The hockey heavyweights will be paired with the figure skaters in a competitive pairs showdown in the series, to be hosted by CBC's Ron MacLean and former world figure skating champion Kurt Browning.