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Online Readers: 41
(4 is just watching the pictures)
Spittin' Chiclets podcast star Paul Bissonnette: 'I'm just some clown who has an opinion'


Spittin’ Chiclets podcast star Paul Bissonnette: ‘I’m just a few clown who has an opinion’

It’s halftime at a Vancouver Warriors lacrosse sport at Rogers Arena, and spectators are working themselves right into a frenzy making an attempt to get the eye of tonight’s star attraction.

Paul Bissonnette appears to be like like an expert athlete. Tall, muscular, smiling, waving to the group.

“Don’t objectify me,” he jokes, shaking palms and signing autographs.

After the sport, a protracted line of followers wait patiently for selfies, asking questions concerning the wildly widespread podcast he co-hosts, Spittin’ Chiclets. Some ask him what membership he will later, hoping to celebration with him.

In hockey-obsessed Canada, it won’t be stunning {that a} former NHL participant would get a rock star reception. But Bissonnette was, by his personal admission, a marginal fourth liner. He performed components of 5 seasons, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes, and he was extra possible, he says, to be within the press field watching the sport than on the ice taking part in.

But if the nickname Biz Nasty means nothing to you, then this 34-year-old from Welland, Ont., would be the most well-known hockey participant you have by no means heard of.

Paul Bissonnette, seen right here taking part in for the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013, additionally performed for the Pittsburgh Penguins throughout his NHL profession. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

While different ex-players develop into celebrities due to their on-ice achievements or their work on typical hockey broadcasts, Bissonnette has taken a a lot completely different media path.

  • WATCH: The characteristic about  Paul Bissonnette and Spittin’ Chiclets, Sunday Feb. 16 on The National at 9 p.m. ET on CBC News Network and 10 p.m. native time in your CBC tv station. You also can catch The National on-line on CBC Gem.

His Youtube video collection, Biz Nasty does B.C., was a preview of his post-hockey model. Broad humour — “a little cringeworthy,” he admits — visitor appearances by hockey stars, and a minimum of one scene per episode carrying nothing however a Speedo.

(Warning, this Youtube trailer for the present accommodates profanity:)

Bissonnette is a continuing presence on social media, with 1.1 million followers on Twitter. To put that in perspective, it is greater than hockey superstars Connor McDavid, Carey Price and John Tavares — mixed. (On Instagram, Bissonnette has 369,000 followers, in comparison with 818,000 for McDavid and 222,000 for Price.)

But it is a podcast, Spittin’ Chiclets, that is turned Bissonnette right into a star on either side of the border. 

Twice every week, he hyperlinks up with one other former participant, Ryan Whitney, and a 3rd co-host who goes by the nickname Rear Admiral.

They discuss hockey — and fairly nicely anything that involves thoughts.

And they interview a variety of gamers, from superstars like McDavid and Sidney Crosby, to profession minor leaguers, like Mike Sgroi — talking brazenly about taking steroids — and Tim Stapleton, who instructed tales about life within the Kontinental Hockey League, together with being administered some kind of efficiency enhancing “Russian gas.”

Paul Bissonnette does the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast twice every week from his residence base in Phoenix, Az. (Mia Sheldon/CBC)

There’s additionally a number of swearing on every episode, together with graphic speak about se-x, particularly by Bissonnette, who has described his exploits in vivid element.

In an interview with CBC News at his residence base in Phoenix, Az, he described the podcast this fashion: “We’re not extremely polished, we’re very opinionated, we’re a little vulgar, we talk about stuff some people wouldn’t be down with, but all in all we’re having a good time.”

And followers appear to adore it.

It is constantly one of many prime 5 hottest podcasts in Canada, proper subsequent to CBC’s Uncover and the New York Times’ The Daily. In the United States, the place hockey is way from a mainstream sport, it is one of many prime 5 sports activities podcasts.

Former NHL-er Paul Bissonnette tells CBC’s Ian Hanomansing what makes his podcast Spittin’ Chiclets completely different from mainstream hockey protection. 0:45

Among the followers are NHL gamers, previous and current, who do not simply hear however in lots of circumstances need an opportunity to speak candidly about what occurs on and off the ice. 

Bissonnette says, “We try to let people inside the locker room, the mental state some of these players are in when they’re making decisions on and off the ice. We’re very sympathetic to them, I think they appreciate that. That’s why they’re comfortable elaborating on stories from behind the scenes or even situations that happen out on the ice … our main objective is to promote the game and show these guys’ personalities.”

Former Hockey Night in Canada analyst Nick Kypreos, himself a former NHL participant, says he is “fascinated” by the way in which Chiclets covers subjects in a method that typical tv and radio hasn’t. “I have such an appreciation for how they can take listeners to players’ on- and off-ice experiences.”

But that candour comes with penalties.

Jeremy Roenick, who performed 20 seasons within the NHL earlier than shifting into tv, has been fired from NBC Sports following questionable remarks made about his co-hosts. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Just this week, Hall of Fame participant Jeremy Roenick was fired by NBC after he joked on a Chiclets episode about the opportunity of having se-x along with his pal and broadcasting colleague Kathryn Tappen.

And Chicago Assistant coach Marc Crawford was suspended partially due to feedback by a former participant. In a Chiclets interview, Brett Sopel described how Crawford had kicked him on the bench. Later, Sopel was quoted as saying he  wasn’t complaining and did not take into account himself a sufferer. Crawford was finally reinstated by the workforce.

Bissonnette admits he is feeling the influence of the podcast’s hovering recognition.

“I personally don’t like the added pressure of how some people hang on our every word. I’m just some clown who has an opinion. We kind of want to fly under the radar and do our thing.”

Paul Bissonnette, star of the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast, admits to CBC’s Ian Hanomansing that his rising media presence is a supply of hysteria. 0:47

Of course, there’s one other facet to all of this consideration. When Chris Chelios, one other Hall of Fame hockey participant, needed to talk publicly about fired Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, he selected Spittin’ Chiclets as his platform.

And for Bissonnette, it is helped construct his model: from sponsorship offers with main firms like McDonalds and American Express, to that promotional go to to the Vancouver Warriors.

The lacrosse workforce’s operations supervisor, Dave Sheldon, says: “We wanted someone with a blue collar appeal, a little irreverent. Someone who fit’s the club’s slogan ‘Nothing’s Offside.'”

That might be Bissonnette’s slogan, too.

As he instructed us, “I have an aggressive sense of humour, I’m not going to apologize for that. And there’s still a large number of people, specifically in Canada where a lot of my audience is, who enjoy that. They don’t want to be shamed for liking that humour. I don’t think we’re bad people.”

He pauses for a second and smiles. “We just flirt with that line a bit.”

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