There’s so much to unpack in the TNT broadcaster Paul Bissonnette one-for-the-ages performance introducing the lineup for the Edmonton Oil Kings. It was part of the Western Hockey League team’s pre-game preparation before a playoff game against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Let’s start by saying Wayne Gretzky knows talent when he sees it. He and Bissonnette are nothing alike. Gretzky is proper, buttoned-up, classy in his approach to life. Bissonnette is irreverent, bold, energetic in his approach to life. Gretzky is a superstar athlete. Bissonnette was a NHL fourth liner.
But Gretzky clearly appreciates the talent that Bissonnette brings to the panel discussions on TNT game broadcasts. Bissonnette is always a star performer. He’s entertaining, provocative and insightful.
So when Gretzky was asked to introduce the starting lineups to the players in the locker room in Edmonton recently, he asked Bissonnette to come with him. Gretzky did what he does, delivered a meaningful message about how important winning the Memorial Cup is to players. He said it still gives them bragging rights at the NHL level. He made sure the junior-age Oil Kings knew that getting to the Memorial Cup was a worthy goal.
"You deserve a lifetime deal on TNT" 🤣
Wayne was blown away by Biz's reading of the Oil Kings starting lineup 🔥 pic.twitter.com/DZfcCVxSNn
— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) June 7, 2022
Then he gave the floor to Bissonnette. That’s when the fun started. The cameras were rolling. He bounded into the room. When the players gave him a beat, he responded.
Biz Had Some Moves
He danced. He jumped. Biz flew around the room. Did his feet touch the floor? He introduced the players like a Hollywood showman. You can feel the energy in the video.
And at the end, the Detroit Red Wings got some love. Detroit first-round pick Sebastian Cossa, the Oil Kings’ goalie, was the last introduction and “Biz” noted that Cossa was crucial to the “Yzerplan.”
Pat on the back for Cossa. And it is an acknowledgment of what a national presence Steve Yzerman is. Bissonnette was confident everyone would understand the Yzerplan reference.
The best part was watching Gretzky leave the room, shaking his head in appreciation for the stellar performance he just witnessed. He marveled at the showmanship. Gretz told Bissonnette he deserved a lifetime contract at TNT for that effort.
Bissonnette told Gretzky that he simply didn’t want to let Gretzky down. Classy as well as energetic.
Cossa’s Oil Kings are tied 1-1 with the Seattle Thunderbirds in the best-of-seven Western Hockey League Championship series. Game 3 is tonight. The winner of this series goes to the Memorial Cup.
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