You don’t have to be a Coyotes fan to appreciate the team’s somewhat questionable former left wing. Known for his crazy online antics more than his goal-scoring abilities, the left wing has made a name for himself in the hockey community through hilarious selfies and a dominating Twitter game:
If you're ever on a safari DO NOT wear Calvin Klein Eternity. You're welcome.
— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 12, 2014
While fans loved keeping up with his hi-jinks and absurd pictures, though, this fourth line enforcer has only scored seven goals in the last 187 games he’s played. The Coyotes could easily afford him- with roughly $11 million dollars left in cap room, his $750,000 cap hit would have been child’s play. That didn’t seem to be the point- for despite his affordable place on the team, Paul Bissonnette has not been invited to return to Jobing.Com Arena next season.
“Biznasty” might be a little bit offended by this. After all, this past season he managed to achieve a career high of eight points, and seemed to be looking better on the ice than he had arguably throughout the duration of his career. He also backed off on the physical aspect of the game, only registering a career-low of three on-ice scuffles. The fighting aspect of the game seems to have gone down, and it appears that Bissonnette recognizes this.
— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) February 23, 2014
There could be a number of reasons for his departure, though. First, while he does maintain a rather lively public persona- including his own personal clothing line, 4LSquared (shorthand for the hilarious gimmick “fourth line for life”)- he’s in his sixth NHL season, and still has yet to break into the double digits for career goals scored.
Although he’s hilarious, the team needs to make room for the wealthy prospect pool they have coming up in the next year or two. Both Greg Carey and Brendan Perlini would be fighting with Bissonnette for his position in the next year or two, and it’s possible that Maloney didn’t see the need to have that many players competing for the same position.
In addition, Bissonnette has been known to make some questionable moral decisions while seeking laughs from his plethora of Twitter and Instagram followers. His current Twitter account, @BizNasty2.0, is aptly named 2.0 after his first account, @PaulBizNasty, got suspended for racial comments he made about former Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk. This season, he made a rather snide remark about former Bruins defenseman Mike Milbury:
Knowing Mike Milbury has a job talking hockey makes me feel good about life after I'm done playing. Guy's a zero.
— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) March 31, 2014
As mentioned in a recent post on NESN, Milbury managed to maintain a positive +/- rating throughout his entire career. The same can not be said of Bissonnette, who has only finished a season with a positive rating three times in six seasons.
Regardless of the reason, though, Arizona has made it clear that Bissonnette will not be returning in the fall. With the lack of positive response from other teams, it seems likely that this means the BizNasty era in the NHL has ended- the winger will either have to sign in the minors, or- more likely- play overseas. He’s going to be missed by everyone- including the chronic butt-grabber in Philadelphia (I’m sorry, I had to say it).
Tags: Paul Bissonnette