At some point during the day today, the ever popular Paul Bissonnette deleted his Twitter account.
I can only assume if you are reading this, that you followed @PaulBizNasty on Twitter. I did. Your friends did. NHL insiders did. Other players did. Everyone who loved hockey did.
Problem is, unlike his NHL / AHL counterparts on Twitter. The “Biz Nasty” was different. Way different. He:
- often misspelled words
- gave money to bums
- made fun of people
- made fun of other peoples cars
- made fun of players
- used swear words
Bissonnette made NHL league minimum last year playing last year for the Phoenix Coyotes. Puts him in the neighborhood of $500,000. If you followed his career, you know his story. You know he basically worked his way from nothing to where he is today. If you know the type of player he is, he is a scrapper, a fighter, a stand up guy. I had the oppurtunity to meet and speak with Paul while he was in Wilkes-Barre / Scranton in 2008-09. One of the most genuinely nicest, most honest people you will meet. Certainly in the top five of my favorite hockey players of all time.
However, I am sure that Bissonnette was a public relations nightmare. Could just hear the conversations going on in Glendale, AZ seconds after @PaulBizNasty tweeted how he’d spend “100 sheets” on buying bums strippers and lap dances. Or how, if you drove a PT Cruiser, you were somehow less of a human being.
The last straw I am sure was when Paul offered advice to NHL free agent Ilya Kovalchuk. Which, if you haven’t heard, recently signed a 17-year deal with the New Jersey Devils. Until the NHL rejected the contract for reasons I won’t get into (read: don’t understand / don’t care to learn) Kovalchuk is also Russian. So, Paul basically tweeted last night something along the lines of that he was sorry for Ilya’s luck and ended with “…Sorry Communist. Back to the Soviet.”
I am sure that this flooded the Phoenix Coyotes’ offices with calls from angry people complaining. “How can an employee of yours make a racist comment like that? I am Russian, but I am NOT a Communist. How dare he!” Or something along those lines. Added to the calls from people offended by stripper comments, bum comments. Offended that a professional athlete used offensive language, etc…
Just picture if Sidney Crosby had a (legit) Twitter feed and made comments like that. It would be all over the press.
Sidney Crosby is held to a higher standard because he makes more money playing hockey than Paul Bissonnette? I disagree. Crosby puts his skates on the same way Bissonnette does and vice versa.
What happened to the First Amendment? Isn’t this America? Aren’t we as Americans, afforded the right to say what we want?
(Ok, ok, Bissonnette is Canadian…but you get what I am saying)
The people who complained about Bissonnette’s comments were heard, as Paul was obviously told to take his Twitter page down by a Coyotes higher up. It had to be that way. It sucks. Paul was fun. You thought it, he said it. I just hope that if he decides to re-surface again he protects his tweets. Because if you don’t have a Twitter feed you aren’t able to view a person who has protected tweets, and if you do follow Paul and still complain about him you can just unfollow him. That simple. If you follow him and still complain, you become a complainer.
And no one likes a complainer.