Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

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Paul Bissonnette has been a healthy scratch for the last 13 games. He’s watched the game from the press box. When you consider what a fan favorite he is, it is disheartening. He is the centerpiece of the new Hockey The Hard Way tv commercials (set to Swan Lake). He is on the billboards for the same promotion. Paul was sent out into the community for the Phoenix Coyotes website series “Professor Paul.” Biznasty has 224,101 followers on Twitter at the time of this article. He is a major part of  Sauce Hockey advertising campaign. There are t-shirts with his image and phrases such as “Hands Like Feet” and “4L4L” fourth line for life. Paul knows who and what he is. He calls himself the grocery stick. Sits between the forwards and defense.

After scoring his first goal of the season against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Paul donates his time, money, and energy for charities such as the homeless and fire departments. He brings kids to games from local shelters after taking them out to dinner. He never says no to a kid looking for a picture to be taken or an autograph to be signed. When the team comes out of the tunnel for warmups, his name is second only to that of Jesus being yelled by the fans.

So I ask this of GMDM and Coach Tippett,

Play Paul or trade him.He is 26 years old making league minimum. It wouldn’t hurt the team for him to get his 5 or 6 minutes every few games. Keeps his head in the game, keeps the locker room, keeps the opponent honest in they cannot expect to play too physical without getting banged around themselves.

He was converted from defense to wing 3 years ago. While he was at the NHL level. Not when he was playing U16 AAA, but while in the Pittsburg Penguin system. As a pro. Whenever he has earned ice time, he has played well. Paul has improved in all areas of his game. Skating, stick handling, and fighting. He doesn’t take dumb penalties. He knows when to fight and when not to. He does not hurt the team. After games he has played, Coach Tippett is asked about Paul. The standard response is that he does all the things he should do well, brought energy, delivered his checks and made his presence felt. It’s not “he didn’t shoot” or “he is a defensive liability.”

There a two other players on this team who play physical. Rafi Torres and Kyle Chipchura. Neither can fight as good as Paul, and sometimes you need the player on your bench who will change the tone of the game with a straight knuckle punch to the face of your opponent. Rafi can score and has good hands. Chipchura has been a real diamond in the rough for GMDM. Another one of his reclamation projects that yield dividend. You don’t have to take them off the ice. There is space for Paul.

Taylor Pyatt came off the ice Monday night after a big hit against the dasher board. He went right to the bench and did not return. I suspect shoulder as it was reported as an upper body injury. Shoulders take their time to heal and Pyatt is needed during the stretch run for the playoffs. Give Pyatt time off now and his minutes to BizNasty. Or, Mikkel Boedker. 57 games played, 57 shots taken. 7 goals, 9 assists. -1 rating. On a line with Jesus and Daymond Langkow or Lauri Korpikoski. More production is needed.

Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Jan. 10, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Mike Rupp (71) and Phoenix Coyotes left wing Paul Bissonnette (12) fight during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE


Tags: Dave Tippett Don Maloney Kyle Chipchura Mikkel Boedker Paul Bissonnette Phoenix Coyotes Rafi Torres Shane Doan Taylor Pyatt