Wayne Gretzky’s only demand when TNT wanted him on their studio show; it’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened to Paul Bissonnette

When Paul Bissonnette played in the NHL, few would’ve guessed that he, in just a few years, would be one of the most well-liked media personalities in hockey and great friends with the best hockey player of all time.

But Bissonnette’s journey is as wild as it’s inspirational.

He didn’t have the best NHL career, but he got the chance to work with media after retiring, and not long after, he started the podcast Spittin’ Chiclets.

It was a huge success, and when TNT started broadcasting NHL, he was one of the panelists, together with prolific and well-known names such as Wayne Gretzky, Anson Carter, and Henrik Lundqvist.

Since landing the TNT job, Bissonnette’s popularity within the hockey community has only increased, and as it turns out, it had a lot to do with Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One is probably the most influential person in all of hockey.

When he was asked if he wanted a job on TNT’s NHL studio show, he had one demand: That Paul Bissonnette would get the question as well. 

”When I started talking to TNT about coming on TV, my kids were like, ’Dad, you got to do it,’” Gretzky said on Spittin’ Chiclets.

”Finally, I said, ’Okay, I think I’m gonna do it.’ And my kids were like, ’Okay, you got to get Paul Bissonnette on that show.’ So I called them, and they go, ’We already have him hired.’ My boys were like, ’Dad, he’s going to revolutionize hockey on TV.’ So there you go.”

SUNRISE, FL – MARCH 11: Paul Bissonnette #12 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 11, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida. The Coyotes defeated the Panthers 3-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Paul Bissonnette played six seasons in the NHL, most of that time with the Arizona Coyotes.

He got there a year after Wayne Gretzky was the coach of the team, but Gretzky had kept his home in Phoenix as his sons went to Arizona State University.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 02: Wayne Gretzky attends the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park on January 02, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Bissonnette partied a lot with the Gretzky boys, which eventually led to them recommending Bissonnette to TNT.

”That was an easier transition to meeting him because they actually vouched for me and told him, when he got the TNT gig, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta get Biz on. He does Spittin’ Chiclets. I think it would help the broadcast.’ Wayne ended up putting in a good word and then it all worked out,” Bissonnette said on The Pat McAfee Show.

Source: Getty Images

Nowadays, Wayne Gretzky takes every chance he gets to tell everyone how much he likes Paul Bissonnette and the work he is doing, and for Biz, it’s a dream come true.

”Buddy, it’s a dream come true, and that alone is incentive enough for me to fly out here once a week or twice a week and do this gig.”

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