Hockey agent Walsh is enjoying his role with a new podcast


Adam Wylde made a lot of cold calls to Allan Walsh before the agent agreed to take part in the new podcast. Here they share a laugh with guest Marc-Andre Fleury of the Blackhawks.Steve Dangle Podcast Network

AWylde dam was desperately looking Allan Walsh, the always opinionated and sometimes controversial hockey agent, last summer. Wylde, who had worked in radio since he was 18 and had established himself as co-host of a Toronto Top 40 morning show as well as co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast, had just launched a podcast network . It was in his new role as co-CEO and chief content officer of the Steve Dangle Podcast Network that he was trying to reach Walsh.

“I didn’t know Allan,” Wylde said. “I called him cold.” Although they never met, Wylde had heard Walsh speak passionately about all things hockey in the Canadian media for years.

“He had really definitive opinions and made no apologies for them, which generally makes him a really good on-air personality, especially when it comes to sports.” said Wylde. “Brash. Yeah, Buckwheat works well on sports TV and Buckwheat does just as well on sports podcasts and digital.

But Walsh, who is Octagon Hockey co-CEO, did not know Wylde or recognize his phone number. Wylde called about once a week for two months, but Walsh didn’t answer. “I was like a really desperate ex,” Wylde said.

Eventually, a mutual friend stepped in. Walsh was walking into the final Stanley Cup game last year when a reporter he’s known for years approached him and asked him to answer Wylde’s call.

When they connected, Wylde explained that he was building a podcast network with his partners, internet star Dangle (whose real name is Steven Glyn) and Jesse Blake.

“He said, ‘You don’t know me; I am involved in a podcast network. … We’re expanding the network,” Walsh said, recounting the conversation, “He said, ‘I think you should have a podcast.’

“I said, ‘Me? Why me?'”

Wylde told Walsh that he’s been following him on Twitter for years and that he’s seen and heard him on Canadian media and his persona was built for a podcast. Walsh was unconvinced. “I said, ‘I appreciate it, but I have no interest. “”

But Wylde didn’t give up. At the end of a phone call lasting over an hour, Walsh said, “If you’re really serious about it, I’ll do a demo.”

Wylde and Walsh did the demo podcast, and Walsh surprised himself by liking it. Wylde and Walsh, as co-hosts, launched the show, which Walsh dubbed “Agent Provocateur,” in October.

Steve Dangle Podcast Network

“I don’t do it for the money, but I don’t do it for free,” Walsh said of the podcasts, which have advertisers. “Let’s just say I’m not looking to quit my day job.”

Shows are weekly, lasting around an hour, and are available on traditional platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Audible. Wylde and Walsh begin by talking about the NHL news of the week. For example, they recently talked about the Arizona Coyotes arena situation and how the team will play at Arizona State University until a new arena in Tempe is completed, if this project is approved by the authorities of Tempe.

The show, still in its infancy, now averages 20,000 to 25,000 downloads per week. One of the best things about it — for hockey-mad fans — is that Walsh is the ultimate insider, Wylde said.

“Allan shines a light on things that people just don’t understand — on the business side,” Wylde said. “You have to understand: a lot of hockey fans are very, very hardcore. They care behind the scenes. You’re listening to a guy talk who’s been involved with the business for 30 years and understands the inner workings of the game that doesn’t make sense to fans. So it brings fans closer to the game.”

But there’s insider information that Walsh tells Wylde he can’t reveal. They have a discussion before the show to define the topics. Wylde said he’ll ask him some things and Walsh will say, “I can’t go.”

After discussing the week’s news, the show usually has an interview. Guests have included St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrongformer NHL player and now NHL Network analyst Mike Ruppgolden knights wing Max Pacioretty and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

As for the hockey players, so far only Walsh clients or former clients have appeared on the show. But Walsh won customers by hearing her speak on the podcast. “I’ve had players tell me that when they were exposed to my ideas, my vision for the business, my vision for representing clients…they reached out after that.”

Walsh asked players who are not his clients if they could appear on the show. When asked if the other agents would object, he replied, “If one of my clients wanted to go on a show, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I’m secure enough in the relationship to know that being on a show doesn’t mean he’s leaving me.

For now, Walsh has no intention of becoming a professional podcaster.

“It’s a hobby. It’s something I do for fun because I love it. It’s not something I do for the money or consider it a career. alternative I like my day job.

Liz Mullen can be contacted at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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