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Simmons to play Blades netminder

Rock star Gene Simmons is trading his guitar for a goalie stick.

The KISS bassist and reality TV star plans to play puckstopper during an intermission shootout next Friday when the Saskatoon Blades face the Portland Winterhawks at Credit Union Centre.

"He'll be dressing up in goalie gear from head to toe," said Brittany Loraas, the Blades' manager of game-day operations, "and during the second intermission, we'll have three guys take shots at him."

Simmons is bringing his reality show, Family Jewels, to Saskatoon where his actress wife, Shannon Tweed, attended Mount Royal Collegiate. The show's producers confirmed Friday they'll be shooting an episode here from Nov. 12-15.

"A lot of it is just going to be a walk down memory lane," said Natalie Gecht, part of the show's production team.

The episode will air on A&E as part of the show's sixth season, due to start in early spring of 2011.

The Blades couldn't confirm whether the hockey game would be part of the show but they have invited Tweed to perform a ceremonial faceoff. The CUC atmosphere promises to be a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll because the Blades were already planning to wear denim-look jerseys to promote the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Canadian Finals. The PBR event comes to town Nov. 19-20, and Asquith bull rider Aaron Roy is also taking part in Friday's pre-game festivities.

"With it being PBR Night, we're already expecting a big crowd," said Loraas, "but having Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed in the building will hopefully fill it up."

News of their visit came as a surprise to the Blades' staff earlier this week. Team president Jack Brodsky got a phone call from local tourism officials and promptly began planning to host the celebrities.

"It's an honour for us to be a part of that," said Brodsky. "We're excited about it and we know that the citizens of Saskatoon will be excited about it, too."

Simmons returns to CUC almost exactly a year after he and KISS played a sold-out show at the venue. Last year's Nov. 10 concert drew 13,000-plus fans. The Blades likely won't get those kind of numbers, but the team is expecting Friday's crowd to far exceed their season average of 4,000.

Simmons to play Blades netminder

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