I received an official e-mail today informing me – and others – that Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette
has received 14,910 write-in votes as part of the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting process.
That’s the most votes for any Coyotes player – forward, defenseman or goalie – and ranks 56th among the league's forwards.
After Tuesday’s practice, I asked Bissonnette, who has quickly built a passionate fan following with his unique observations on Twitter as @BizNasty2point0, to respond to the latest All-Star vote numbers and the thought of possibly being voted into the lineup.
His response: “A, it’s awesome. B, it will never happen.”
Of course he’s correct when it comes to his latter point, but that’s OK by him.
“I want to go to Vegas during the All-Star break so I’m really hoping I don’t get voted in and I get that time to party slash rest,” Bissonnette said. “It will be fun to see how many votes I get, but I don’t want to go.”
I then asked Bissonnette why he thinks he’s getting so many votes considering he has zero points in 11 games this season.
“I’m basically just a man of the people and I guess I’d be like the people’s little toy at the All-Star Game,” Bissonnette said. “It would be like they're playing a video game with me in it... It’s cool but it’s not going to happen.”
Sidney Crosby, by the way, is leading the fan balloting with 319,809 votes. Click the following links to see the voting results to date. Forwards
Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson
was back at practice on Tuesday after being recalled from the American Hockey League for a second time.
“All the reports on him were very strong so we’ll see where he’s at,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “He’s a young player who’s finding his way and I think those 10 games in the American (Hockey) League were very good for him. I was talking to the coaches down there and they were very impressed with how he played, so we’ll see how he plays with us.”
Ekman-Larsson notched two goals and six assists for San Antonio while partnered with defenseman Michael Stone
“I played really big minutes down there on a really good team,” said Ekman-Larsson, who jokingly referred to his new facial hair as his playoff beard. “It was fun… I was a little bit surprised (to get recalled now), but I’ve tried to do my best."
Eight defensemen took part in Tuesday’s practice. Afterward, I asked Tippett if all eight would still be on the roster when the Coyotes played their next game on Thursday vs. Minnesota.
“We feel comfortable with the eight we have,” Tippett said. “(Nolan) Yonkman has played very well for us. (Sami) Lepisto jumped in and played very well (on Sunday). We’ll probably go through this week and see where we’re at.”
Yonkman showed he’s serious about sticking around and turned some heads at Tuesday’s practice by delivering a hard check that knocked Bissonnette to the ice during a drill.
“We’ve been talking to our defense about defending the blue line and he defended the blue line very well right there,” said Tippett, when asked for his take on the game-like hit. “Basically he’s just doing what we’re asking for.”
Back to Bissonnette for a moment. For those fans seeking more content on the charismatic Coyotes enforcer I invite you to click here
(or below) to watch a behind-the scenes video I recorded with my Flip Cam while Bissonnette was filming a public service announcement for the Gilbert Fire Department about child safety.
For those wanting even more Bissonnette coverage, click here
(or below) to watch a video about him recently shot and produced by TSN, aka the ESPN of Canada. Video: Bissonnette shooting PSA for Gilbert Fire Dept.Video: Bissonnette on TSN
Reach Dave Vest at firstname.lastname@example.org
and follow him on Twitter at @davest4yotes.