Ex-Penguin Bissonnette Making Headlines
Paul Bissonnette isn’t exactly a household name among hockey fans, having just 56 games under his NHL belt, but the defenseman turned winger now is finding popularity — but for the wrong reasons.
No, Bissonnette hasn’t been arrested for or accused of any crimes.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
Bissonnette simply has been having a good time. Too good of a time, maybe.
In between partying and apparently training for hockey, Bissonnette took a liking to Twitter, using the identity “@PaulBizNasty” to post rude, vulgar, and politically incorrect ramblings, oftentimes angering and/or offending his followers.
While many of his Tweets — such as a picture of his hockey pants with a caption, “A bird is sitting on my hockey pants and won’t move. Then it took a [expletive] on them. What the ef is going on” — came as harmless tidbits of comic relief, many others simply crossed the line of decency.
Take, for example, a Tweet Wednesday night that eventually led to the deactivation of his Twitter account.
“kovalchuk’s gana have to give lap dances for 20 years instead of getting them now that he got rejected. sorry communist. back to the soviet.”
Or how about a series of politically incorrect Tweets regarding female comedians, which can be found at the Crushasaurus Sports Blog.
Bissonnette just seems to be too focused on having fun and not focused enough on improving his hockey skills.
I suppose that’s his prerogative, but to those — myself included — who questioned the Pittsburgh Penguins’ decision to place him on waivers one year ago, this should serve as an excellent explanation.
But, not surprisingly, this behavior isn’t new to Bissonnette.
While he served as captain of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit during the 2003-04 season, his maturation process seemed to come to a halt soon after.
In the fall of 2007, Bissonnette came to Penguin training camp with a bad attitude and a lack of conditioning. He was cut three days into camp and sent directly to the ECHL, bypassing the team’s AHL training camp in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
At the time, he let management know how he felt, and continued to express his dissatisfaction through the media.
There also was the time he decided to wear a wrestling championship belt onto the ice to taunt an opponent after beating him in a fight the previous game.
He earned a two-game suspension from the ECHL.
Following these incidents, Bissonnette appeared to be on a path to prioritize his life, putting hockey and the NHL on the forefront.
In 2008, he made the Penguins roster out of training camp, but eventually was returned to the AHL after serving little purpose other than to fight.
Then, in 2009, Bissonnette nearly made the team, but was placed on waivers. He was claimed by the Phoenix Coyotes and played in 41 games, earning five points and 117 penalty minutes.
At the time, the move seemed inexplicable. The Penguins claimed to covet physical players, yet they let one of their most physical, albeit limited skill-wise, forwards go.
What was more puzzling was that they claimed small, timid forward Chris Bourque off of waivers from the Washington Capitals.
Bourque made only a few appearances and served most of his team as a healthy scratch.
Why didn’t the Penguins simply keep Bissonnette, who could have been used in a pugilistic role against physical teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers?
Back in October and November of 2009, the answer was far from clear.
But, nearly one year later, it has become more obvious.
Paul Bissonnette cares more about having fun and socializing than he does about his team and the game of hockey.
That just didn’t jive with the Penguins.
Only time will tell how long before he suffers a similar fate with the Coyotes.