Battle of the Blades opened their third season with a tribute to Wade Belak. The tribute show easily fit into the usual first episode which focuses on introducing the competitors. Once again the show was overly dramatic including introducing former Toronto Maple Leaf Russ Courtnall who appeared in last season's Battle of the Blades and agreed to skate again in place of Belak. CBC also felt compelled to dramatize the introduction of the first female hockey player to the show Tessa Bonhomme.
Courtnall, will be paired with Kim Navarro, Belak’s former skating partner. Courtnall, will skate for Belak’s chosen charity, Tourette’s Syndrome Neurodevelopmental Clinic at the Toronto Western Hospital.