Coyotes’ enforcer Paul Bissonnette signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the organization until the end of the 2013-14 season. Known more for his Twitter account and hatred for all things related to the PT Cruiser rather than his play on the ice, Bissonnette is working towards making himself an everyday player for Phoenix this season. The deal is worth a total of $1.475 million spread out over two seasons.
When asked about the financial terms of his contract, Bissonnette replied that his two-year deal is, “similar to Drew Doughty’s… two week pay check.” Then again, his responsibilities are a little different than Doughty’s in Los Angeles. Bissonnette played in 48 games last season for Phoenix—he’s played in 104 career games for the Penguins and Coyotes. He averaged 5:15 of ice-time in part-time duty for the Coyotes last season; but certainly made his presence known when he got out on the ice. He had a team-high 71 penalty minutes and 13 fighting majors last season.
GM Don Maloney commented on the Coyotes official site:
“We are very pleased to sign Paul to a multi-year extension. He plays an important role on our team and we are looking for him to take his game to the next level this season.”
When he says “important role,” he’s probably not talking about Bissonnette being the team DJ or Twitter superstar. Or is it? All teams depend upon team chemistry to help their play on the ice. For the Coyotes, Bissonnette brings more to the table than the 5 minutes per game that fans see on the ice. Guys like Bissonnette help keep the team loose during losing streaks, help relieve pressure when a player is gripping his stick too tight, and help keep the 23 guys in the locker room working as a cohesive unit. His new salary, whatever it may be, is as much for his work behind the scenes than the stuff that will show up on HockeyFights.com.
As Maloney mentioned, the organization will look to Bissonnette to become an everyday player; one who can ideally play more than a shift every period. In conjunction with the upcoming season, Bissonnette will have three years to prove that he’s a hockey player that can bring more to the team than his fists and sense of humor.
He may succeed—he may not. Either way, it’ll be fun to watch.