Connor Bedard, the prodigious Canadian junior ice hockey player who is expected to be the number one overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, joined the NHL on TNT crew Monday ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers. Sharing the stage with ice hockey greats such as Wayne Gretzky and Henrik Lundqvist, Bedard didn’t shy away from throwing a little shade.
In a moment that has since garnered significant attention, the young star made a humorous quip towards former NHL player and current TNT analyst, Paul Bissonnette, also known by his nickname “Biz Nasty”. When asked how it felt to be seated next to Gretzky, the legendary “Great One”, Bedard responded by saying, “Great players… and Biz”, a one-liner that playfully downplayed Bissonnette’s career achievements.
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Bissonnette, who hails from Canada like Bedard, played a total of 202 NHL games during his career, scoring 22 points. He played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Arizona Coyotes during his time in the NHL. Bissonnette was selected in the fourth round, 121st overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. While he might not have had a record-breaking career, Bissonnette is well-regarded in the hockey community and is known for his contributions to the sport both on and off the ice.
Despite the friendly jab, it’s clear that both Bedard and Bissonnette share a deep love for the game of hockey. Bedard, who is currently the captain of the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, is touted as a generational talent and his presence in the NHL is eagerly anticipated.
Bissonnette, on the other hand, has transitioned from his playing career to become a respected analyst, sharing his experience and insights on the NHL on TNT panel. Even though he was the recipient of Bedard’s jest, his passion for hockey remains undiminished.
This interaction between the rising star and the seasoned veteran provides an entertaining glimpse into the camaraderie and good-natured banter that often exists in the world of professional sports. While Bissonnette’s playing days may be behind him, and Bedard’s just beginning, their love for the game is a testament to the enduring spirit of hockey.