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)

It’s New York Islanders day at PHT

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Understatement 1: the 2016-17 season was rough for the New York Islanders.

Understatement 2: John Tavares‘ future is a pretty big deal, to Islanders and hockey fans alike.

Many of the worries surrounding the second understatement stem from the first one; last season was rough, to the point that people are worried that Tavares’ confidence might be shaking in the Isles.

Of course, it’s not just about the 2016-17 season.

After all, they’ve only won one playoff series (eliminating the Panthers in 2016) since 1992-93. If Tavares is growing impatient with the Islanders’ process, then 2017-18 stands as potentially integral in keeping him around. Islanders fans cringe at such talk, but there’s no sense pretending that isn’t an issue on Isles day.

Ouch. Sorry.

The Islanders are sticking with Doug Weight as head coach after a largely successful interim run.

As far as changes go, GM Garth Snow traded Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle, a player Tavares has some history and chemistry with. That was a good way to entice Tavares … but trading away Travis Hamonic might not have been the most endearing move. At least since the Islanders didn’t land, say, Matt Duchene for their troubles.

There’s always the chance that a Duchene deal – or some other upgrade – could still be in the works, but as is, this off-season feels more like a lateral move for the Islanders. The draft picks they got for Hamonic probably don’t mean much for Tavares, after all.

Islanders day will explore many facets of the team on Monday. Some might not even revolve around that Tavares fellow.

Malkin on ‘workaholic’ Crosby, Penguins’ chances for three Cups in a row

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Evgeni Malkin shared some interesting observations with Sports-Express’ Igor Eronko this weekend, including that he believes that the Pittsburgh Penguins “have all the tools” to win a third Stanley Cup in a row.

Quite reasonably, Malkin notes that the team kept its core intact.

Of course, Malkin and Sidney Crosby are still the catalysts for the Penguins, so it’s always fun to come across the latest observations from the Russian star.

Good stuff.

It’s not surprising to see Malkin praise Crosby and pump up the Penguins’ chances. Last year, he showed confidence in Pittsburgh’s repeat chances and professed an interest in being on the same team with Crosby for the next “10 years.”

This summer’s been a great one for Geno, with plenty of team honors mixing with some great individual feats. For example:

Habs’ Byron got to skate(board) with Tony Hawk

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Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron is so speedy on the ice, his skating can sometimes be intimidating, particularly when he’s on the penalty kill.

Every now and then, we’ll see, say, a floppy-haired snowboarder also show some serious skateboarding acumen, and skateboarding seems to blend well with surfing to boot. So what about ice skating and skateboarding?

Well, Byron apparently got to meet Tony Hawk – along with his kids – and at least made a solid impression, as the Canadiens website notes.

“Paul can hold his own. I bet he’d do better on my board,” Hawk said. “It wouldn’t be so wobbly.”

The only bummer is that it doesn’t seem like footage of Byron skateboarding is available. There is some cute footage of Hawk with Byron’s kids, though:

Little B's turn💙

A post shared by Sarah Byron (@sarahannbyron) on

There’s also Hawk skateboarding in a Canadiens sweater. Fun stuff.

(H/T to Sportsnet.)

Taylor Hall’s remarkable run of bad luck

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This post is a part of Devils day at PHT…

Taylor Hall deserves credit for that great “lottery ball specialist” tweet when the New Jersey Devils landed the top pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, but you could picture the star winger making such a joke while gritting his teeth.

You see, as much as Hall seems to be a luck rabbit’s foot for a team when it comes to landing the top pick of a draft – just consider his Edmonton Oilers days on top of this last bit – but that good fortune hasn’t always come from an individual standpoint.

In hopes that we may some day see Hall in, say, a playoff game, let’s recount some of his unluckiest moments. Keep in mind that he’s still just 25.

Injuries

He became the first pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, which means he’ll be compared to Tyler Seguin (though that discussion mercifully doesn’t come up that often).

Hall’s rookie season was limited to 65 regular-season games thanks to the ill-advised decision to fight Derek Dorsett. His first NHL bout ended his 2010-11 campaign; Hall received criticism for the choice, which sometimes overshadowed debuting with 22 goals.

It was reckless to fight, especially with someone like Dorsett, but we’ve seen plenty of players get through skirmishes without anything major happening. Jarome Iginla endeared himself to hockey fans, in some ways, by doing just that … but Hall wasn’t so lucky.

Even if you chalk that first bit up to poor decisions, Hall’s injury luck has often been poor. He was limited to 61 games in his sophomore season, 53 in 2014-15 and missed significant pieces of 2013-14 and last season, too.

Some of the injuries were just downright-freakish.

Click here if you want to remember the time he caught a skate in the head during warm-ups, which left him with a disgusting “Frankenstein” wound and … it’s just gross. If you haven’t seen it, you’re lucky.

While his speedy, courageous style might leave him susceptible to issues, it seems like Hall catches an unusually high number of bad breaks.

Terrible team to bad team

Taylor Hall has been a productive player, keeping his head up even as he’s played for some miserably bad teams.

The Oilers have been pretty clueless for virtually the entirety of Hall’s career; this National Post article provides a handy rundown of their mishaps in rarely finding decent defensemen.

Those struggles likely inspired the team to trade Hall for Adam Larsson, a steady Swedish blueliner.

It says a lot that Oilers fans voted massively in favor of the Oilers winning that trade in at least one poll, as most hockey people agree that the Devils ended up with the upper hand.

Team success can skew the views of certain players, something Hall knows too well as a frequent scapegoat in Edmonton. If you want to roll your eyes, peruse some of the “not captain material”-type takes that Hall likely became all-too-familiar with.

He didn’t even get to truly benefit from Connor McDavid‘s presence, as Hall’s bad injury luck seemed to transition to McDavid for a brief spell; as you recall, McDavid’s season was greatly limited by an lucky fall that came from the same sort of driving style you’d expect to see from Hall.

Who could blame Hall for being jealous of the Oilers’ success now that he’s gone?

New Jersey is making some nice strides toward being a more competitive team, and Hall’s a big part of that sunnier outlook. It has to sting to take all those steps back to the painfully familiar rebuilding stages after suffering through all of those with the Oilers.

***

Look, Hall is nicely compensated for his play. He also was the top pick of a draft, so it’s not like he’s totally anonymous.

Still, it’s difficult not to root for the guy to soak in the accolades that come with greater team success, as Hall has been a fantastic power forward in some not-so-fantastic situations.

In other words, here’s hoping a little more luck goes his way … on the ice rather than in the carousel.