|Born||March 11, 1985 (1985-03-11) |
Welland, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)|
|NHL Draft||121st overall, 2003|
Paul Bissonette (born Paul Albert Bissonnette on March 11, 1985) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently with the Phoenix Coyotes organization of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Early Playing Career
When Paul was 16 years old, he was drafted 31st overall by the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Centennials. He played in 57 games as a rookie and scored three goals and three assists.
According to his father, Paul averaged about 30 minutes a game. Following the 2001-02 season, the Centennials relocated and became the Saginaw Spirit. He was named co-captain on the Spirit and also became a member of Canada’s Under-18 gold medal winning team.
Paul was named the MVP of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top Prospects game after scoring a goal and scrapping with top defensive prospect Dion Phaneuf.
Professional Playing Career
Paul was selected in the fourth round, 121st overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. When drafted, he was playing with the Saginaw Spirit of the junior Ontario Hockey League.
During the 2003-04 season, Paul served as the Spirit captain, and finished ninth in points. He played another half season with the Spirit before being traded to the Owen Sound Attack, where he finished the 2004-05 season.
Paul began his professional career in 2005 with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. Bissonnette finished the season with only 14 games in Wheeling. He then played 55 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League. On November 12, 2005, Bissonnette picked up his first professional fighting major when he took on Jordan Smith of the Portland Pirates.
During the 2006-07 season, Paul played 65 games with Wheeling. He only appeared in 3 games with the AHL Penguins. He scored his first professional goal in the AHL on February 25, 2006 on goaltender Maxime Ouellet of the Manitoba Moose. After beginning the 2007-08 season in Wheeling, he was recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he earned a permanent roster position.
Teammates Dennis Bonvie and Deryk Engelland worked with Bissonnette often practicing fighting techniques. Due to his size and physicality, Bissonnette earned a spot on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster for the beginning of the 2008-09 season.
On October 16, 2008, Paul picked up his first NHL fighting major when he dropped the gloves with Matt Bradley of the Washington Capitals. He TKO'd Bradley to the ice, bloodying his nose.
On January 13, 2009, Paul picked up his first point in the National Hockey League, when he assisted a Tyler Kennedy goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. He was waived in November and spent the rest of the season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
On May 5, 2009, during a playoff game between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Hershey Bears, Paul was hit awkwardly by Greg Amadio and Steve Pinizzotto. He was deeply cut by the skate of one of the Hershey players on his left wrist and suffered nerve damage in his left hand.
On October 1, 2009, Paul was claimed on waivers by the Phoenix Coyotes, after failing to make the Penguins out of training camp. On October 12, 2009, his first fight as a Coyote occurred against Jody Shelley of the San Jose Sharks. On November 12, 2009, Bissonnette scored his first NHL goal on Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens.
On October 5, 2011, Paul signed a two year contract extension with the Coyotes. During the 2011–12 season, on November 19, 2011, he scored the game-winning goal, playing in front of his mother and grandparents for the first time as an NHL player. The Coyotes went on to win 4-2 over the Buffalo Sabres.
With the 2012–13 NHL lockout in effect and in order to keep game shape, Paul signed a contract for the duration of the lockout dispute with Welsh side, the Cardiff Devils of the Elite Ice Hockey League on November 1, 2012. In the lower level EIHL, he rediscovered his scoring touch posting 21 points in 11 games before returning to the NHL.
Regular Season and Playoffs
|2001–02||North Bay Centennials||OHL||57||3||3||6||21||5||0||0||0||2|
|2004–05||Owen Sound Attack||OHL||35||2||11||13||46||8||1||3||4||2|
|Competitor for Canada|
|IIHF U18 Championships|
|Junior int'l totals||7||0||1||1||0|
Paul's nickname is "BizNasty." His parents are Yolande and Cam Bissonnette. Paul’s mother was an Office Administration professor at Niagara College for 30 years in Southern Ontario. His father, whom Paul credits for his own off the cuff personality, was a steel worker.
Paul’s mother often woke at five in the morning to make sure Paul could attend practices for his favourite sport: hockey. Paul was passionate about sports growing up and also played goalie for a youth soccer team for a short time.
Paul has attracted over 422,000 followers on Twitter and is known for his blunt and entertaining tweets. He originally went by the screen name "@PaulBizNasty" until he made a racist comment about Ilya Kovalchuk and his rejection from the NHL for a violation of the CBA which resulted in the removal of "@PaulBizNasty" on Twitter.
Paul's fans began a "Free BizNasty" campaign following his dismissal from Twitter. In 2010, Paul began using Twitter again as "@BizNasty2point0."