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Bryant McBride Joins the Podcast | PODCAST

Former collegiate player and producer of Willie joins the podcast to discuss his love of hockey and creating the documentary telling the story of the first Black NHL player

by Catherine Bogart catherinebogart /

From Sault Ste. Marie to working in the NHL, Bryant McBride's love of hockey began in Ontario playing the sport as much as possible.

"It's part of gym class, it's part of everything," McBride said. "I got bit really early at 5 years old and loved it. And I've been playing hockey and involved for over 50 years.

"I'd get on that rink at 3:30 p.m. with all the other kids after school, we'd play literally for two to three hours. My parents would make me come home for dinner … My parents would put newspaper and magazines down in the house. I would keep my skates on, I'd walk to the dinner table with skates, eat in like eight seconds, they'd make me sit there to digest my food, walk back out, skate back on the roads to the rink, play for another two to three hours and then go home and go to bed."

McBride joined Catherine Bogart and Sam Kasan on this week's episode of the Speak of the Devils podcast to discuss his hockey journey from skating the streets of the Sou to working for the NHL in New York.

Following his youth hockey days, McBride went to play college hockey for Trinity College and West Point before heading to Harvard to get his MPA. In September 1992, he joined the NHL as the Vice President of Business Development. Following his time with the league, McBride has created several companies including his current, Burst.

In addition, McBride was a producer of the documentary "Willie," that focused on the life of Willie O'Ree, the first Black player in the NHL. 

"My first interaction with Willie O'Ree, years before I got to meet him, I was 10 years old, and I wanted to be the first Black player in the NHL, but I saw him in the library and I was angry. I was like 'ah, this guy beat me to it,'" McBride joked. "So I was angry with Willie from the age of 10 to 12, but I got past it."

Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:

  • Where his hockey journey began
  • Playing college hockey
  • Working for the NHL
  • Building companies that support storytelling, especially for BIPOC voices
  • Producing the documentary "Willie," and working with a team of primarily women

For more episodes of Speak of the Devils, visit our podcast page.

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