You know Biz Nasty, meet Biz Daddy; Paul Bissonnette and father Cam talk hockey and chirping

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If you’re not familiar with Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette by now, chances are that means you’re not connected to Twitter. There, “Biz Nasty” has one of the NHL’s largest followings at over 61,000 people keeping tabs on what it’s like living the life of an NHL player, enforcer, and social icon.

If you’ve followed Bissonnette for a while, you’ve gotten to know his family in one way or another. His father Cam and his mother Yoli are virtually the NHL’s favorite parents thanks to Paul’s antics both at home and on the road. This week, Cam is in Phoenix visiting Paul and, like you might expect, when these two get together the talk is lively.

I sat down for an interview with both Paul and Cam Bissonnette to see what the two think of their virtual cult hero stardom. This exchange was better broken down in this format so you can get an idea of how this father-son combo handles each other.

PHT: Are you surprised at how big of a star you’ve become just from chirping your way through Twitter?

Paul: Yeah, I was kinda the first hockey player to take that approach to it. Other guys will tweet about charity and other things and just kind of stay under the radar. I’ve kind of taken it to the next level and people have kind of embraced it. It’s taken off.

PHT: One guy you’ve helped bring into the spotlight is your dad Cam. We’ve seen pictures of him all the time on there…

Paul: (laughs) Shirtless.

PHT: (laughs) Shirtless pictures. You’re good with chirping him, but do you mind needling him while he’s away at home like that?

Paul: Yeah, he doesn’t mind. He’s all for it. He was the same way I was when he was younger. I told him I was going to do it and he’s like, “Ahh whatever.”  He gives a few jabs to me when I’m not around about not playing and stuff.

Cam: It’s hard to keep up to his style. I do my best but I’m always three steps behind him.

Paul: He can’t tweet because he doesn’t know anything about it. He doesn’t even have a cell phone.

Cam: I do. I got one about three months ago.

Paul: It doesn’t even have pictures. It’s a joke.

Cam: I follow him on Twitter… I just don’t respond to him.

Paul: You can’t. You don’t have an account.

Cam: Well half the language I don’t understand.

Paul: It’s all lingo.

Cam: I’m too old for that lingo.

PHT: Is there a way we can get you to set up your dad with an account? Something like BizDaddy maybe?

Paul:  (laughs) Yeah maybe BizNasty6point2 because he’s 62 years-old. But yeah maybe BizDaddy should have an account. Yeah, that’s a good idea. I like that name too. Maybe. I’ll have to tweet for him though.

One way Paul’s made his impact on the game is to do the dirty work with his fists and helping to both keep the peace amongst the players and find a way to invigorate his team. It worked on Tuesday night in the Coyotes 2-1 win over the Blues as Bissonnette’s fights with Ryan Reaves and Tyson Strachan lit a fire under his team to get them back in the game. When it comes to breaking down the fights, Bissonnette breaks them down like a master of the sweet science.

“He (Reaves) took a run at Bods (Mikkel Boedker) he was just doing his job and I came right out and I saw it so I went right over. I literally hadn’t been on the ice for five seconds and he said, “yeah.” It wasn’t a very good fight and didn’t last too long. The next one was a bit better, but I like the lengthy ones where you get your shots in but it sparked the crowd and the team and it worked.”

As for what Cam thinks of his son doing his job as the enforcer out there, he’s straight to the point.

“That’s what got him here. It’s part of the game and every team needs one. I think he’s doing an excellent job of it here and I think it’s what’s keeping him in the league for now. I’m hoping to see him maybe later on get more ice time and kill penalties and…”

Paul interjects seriously, “Become a better player.”

“Yeah, become a better player for sure because as a fighter, your duration isn’t gonna last long in the league. So I think if he learns the game and he gets more ice time he can stay in the league. He can make his career last longer,” Cam concluded.

Getting that sort of serious change in tone from both guys made for an introspective moment. Bissonnette is still young (he’s just 26) and in the league in part thanks to fighting but also his dedication to learning a new role and position.

He came up through the Penguins system as a defenseman and not a fighter, but after learning the tricks of the trade in fighting from legendary AHL brawler Dennis Bonvie and getting moved to forward while in the Pens system, Bissonnette’s career has evolved in a new direction.

Thanks to Bissonnette and his ever-popular stream of thoughts, quips, and jokes on Twitter we’ll be able to keep up with him to see how his career evolves in Phoenix. We’re only hoping now that maybe his father will follow suit so we can see the two of them continue their fun back-and-forth via social media.

(Photo courtesy of @BizNasty2point0)

NHL Playoff Push: Lightning, Bruins fight for top spot in Atlantic

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Friday turned out to be a big night in the NHL playoff race with Dallas and Calgary dropping key games, the Sharks and Ducks getting huge wins and the Nashville Predators becoming the first team to clinch a spot in the postseason.

The Flames loss might prove to be a devastating loss as it drops them four points back of the competition, while the Stars are clinging to that second wild card spot by the slimmest of margins.

Saturday is going to be another pivotal day in the race, and not just for teams that are on the playoff bubble, but also for teams that are playing for seeding.

The Eastern Conference playoff race has some huge games on Saturday. The Panthers, entering the day three points back of the New Jersey Devils for the second spot and coming off of a huge win against Boston, are hosting Edmonton for an afternoon game while the Devils are in Los Angeles. The Panthers still have the games in hand edge working in their favor against both Columbus and New Jersey but we are at a point here where if they drop a game or two, and the others pick up an additional win, it is going to make that gap really difficult to overcome. The Devils have slowed down in recent weeks (5-5-0 in their past 10) while the Blue Jackets and Panthers keep stacking wins.

The Blue Jackets are at home against Ottawa today looking to run their winning streak to seven games and potentially jump back into the top-three spot in the Metropolitan Division depending on what happens with the Philadelphia Flyers game against Carolina. The Flyers are trending in the wrong direction lately with losses in seven of their past eight.

The most intriguing game of the day though is probably in Tampa Bay where the top two teams in the East meet in a crucial game in the Atlantic Division race. The Lightning enter the day four points ahead of the Bruins and a win (especially one in regulation) could go a long way toward securing the division title and the top spot in the Eastern Conference. A regulation win moves them six points up with 11 games to play (12 for Boston). A Boston win, however, would close the gap to two points while the Bruins would still have a game in hand and two head-to-head games remaining after Saturday.

[The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11 on the networks of NBC]

The schedule in the Western Conference for Saturday is not quite as intriguing as a lot of the key players in the playoff race have the day off.

The Blues are still trying to cling to a playoff spot but have five points to make up on a bunch of teams ahead of them. They are playing the New York Rangers on Saturday night. This is pretty much a must-win for the Blues.

Meanwhile, the Sharks, coming off of a huge win against Calgary on Friday, are in Vancouver to play a Canucks team that has lost six in a row, nine out of 10, and have not scored a goal in more than three games. They have only scored three goals in their past five games. A Sharks win on Saturday would go a long way toward deciding their playoff fate and would put them five points clear of the teams on the outside of the playoff picture.

If The Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New Jersey Devils
Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche
Winnipeg Jets vs. Minnesota Wild
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

Saturday’s Key Games

Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers
New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Ottawa Senators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Rangers vs. St. Louis Blues
San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Ilya Kovalchuk aiming for NHL return after 5 years away

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MOSCOW (AP) Former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk says he wants to return to the league this summer and play there for “several more years.”

Kovalchuk tells Russian state sports channel Match TV that if he doesn’t try again to win a Stanley Cup, “I won’t forgive myself for it when I get older.”

Kovalchuk, who won the Olympic gold medal last month, says he’s focused on winning the Kontinental Hockey League with SKA St. Petersburg, “but in the summer I’m going to examine offers” from the NHL.

He adds that he wants to match Russian teammate Pavel Datsyuk as a member of the so-called triple gold club of players who have won the Olympic gold medal, world championship, and Stanley Cup.

Kovalchuk walked out on the New Jersey Devils in 2013 to return to Russia, where he has since won two KHL titles.

The Buzzer: Kane nets four; Preds first to clinch

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Players of the Night:

Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks: It took him 565 NHL games and three teams, but Kane now has his first NHL hat trick. Then he made sure to grab his first four-goal NHL game for the hell of it. Kane has five goals and 10 points in eight games since the trade deadline, the most of any player dealt this year on deadline day.

Mike Hoffman, Ottawa Senators: Hoffman had an assist in regulation and then one-timed his fifth game-winning goal of the season in overtime to help the Senators past the Dallas Stars.

Nashville Predators: For no other reason than they claimed first blood in a 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche, becoming the first team this season to clinch a playoff spot.

Highlights of the Night:

Bravo, Johnny:

Kane’s hat trick goal:



Factoids of the Night:


Senators 3, Stars 2 (OT)

Capitals 6, Islanders 3

Predators 4, Avalanche 2

Sharks 7, Flames 4

Ducks 4, Red Wings 2

Wild 4, Golden Knights 2

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Rangers getting a good look at the future, despite playoff disappointment

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Silver linings for teams far off the playoff line are few and far between at this time of the year.

But if there is one that can be taken for any team looking at re-tooling or rebuilding for next season, it’s the ability to take a look at the future crop against NHL adversaries.

The New York Rangers are one of these teams. They declared themselves open for business prior to the trade deadline and dealt away some big names, including Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh, for some younger talent.

They’re also facing a challenge with aging goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who, as great as he is, won’t win the battle with Father Time.

Needing to fill holes at several positions, the Rangers have been able to take a good look at a couple of promising prospects, including what may well be their future between the pipes.

New York has played rookie Alexandar Georgiev six times and owns a 3-2-0 record since he played his first NHL game on Feb. 22. Despite picking up the loss, Georgiev allowed just two goals on 40 shots for a .950 save percentage.

He’d give up four in his next start the following night, but since then has amassed three straight wins, including a 37-save performance on Wednesday against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. He’ll be called upon again on Saturday, another test and another chance for evaluation.

The inital analysis is promising. Georgiev is sitting on a very respectable .929 save percentage in his brief time in the NHL and he’s already turning heads around the league.’s Kevin Woodley’s wrote that Georgiev is taking after the likes of Andrei Vasilevskiy, Semyon Varlamov and Sergei Bobrovsky — some pretty good company.

Blueshirt Banter’s Tom Urtz Jr. took a really deep dive in Georgiev, concluding by calling him a “pleasant surprise.”

There’s a lot to like about him, his potential is visible, and the circumstances are set up in his favor for him to be able to prove himself more in an extended setting next season,” Urtz Jr. wrote.

Shifting to the men in the rearguard, Neal Pionk is making the most the big minutes he’s been getting over the past 17 games, and he’s starting to produce.

Pionk is on a three-game point streak with five assists during that span.

Also 22 and also undrafted, Pionk, like Georgiev, is showing real promise on defense.

“He competes hard and he’s got a good skill set,” Vigneault told on Friday. “He can make that good pass and there’s no doubt that in his college and prior to that, he was considered an offensive defenseman. He’d join the rush and was good on the power play, so there is some upside there with him. We need to continue to work at his game and continue to improve it.”

The Rangers appear to have some budding young talent and an array of players to build around with the likes Pavel Buchnevich, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jimmy Vesey — assuming they sign the latter two who are set to become RFAs at the end of this season.

And perhaps most importantly, the Rangers, who have long held the distinction as a team where old players go to get older, seem to finally be favoring youth over past-their-prime talent.

That’s good news for Rangers fans.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck