Former Penguin Paul Bissonnette doesn’t have the scoring touch that a player like Sidney Crosby
has, nor does he have the defensive skills that a player like Brooks Orpik
has. So the gritty Phoenix Coyote paved a new path to fame.
Bissonnette made a name for himself on Twitter in recent months, thanks to his excellent sense of humor and his stream-of-consciousness way of tweeting.
As of Sunday afternoon, his account, @BizNasty2point0, had more than 28,200 followers. His latest tweet was about how the Coyotes – who will face the Penguins Monday at CONSOL Energy Center – are staying in the same Pittsburgh hotel as the New York Jets, who are in town to play the Steelers on Sunday.
“Crank calls to Mark Sanchez’ room all night,” he wrote.
Bissonnette said that since his mind is always going, he just decided to “unleash it.”
“I don’t play much on the ice, so I try to help out the team as much as I can, as far as endorsing it and getting involved in the community as much as possible,” Bissonnette said. “I like seeing our team play in front of a lot of people and draw better. So the more publicity and air time we get, the better it is for everyone.”
Penguins forward Mike Rupp is one of Bissonnette’s followers, and he gets a kick out of the wily Coyote.
“I like how he kind of doesn’t have any censorship to what he does,” Rupp said. “I think that’s good. He doesn’t say anything to intentionally offend people. He’s a good guy and he’s just letting fans know what maybe a lot of us think, but don’t say.”RELATED ARTICLE: Penguins Report: Practice 12/19/10 >>
Rupp joined the Penguins in the summer of 2009, only playing with Bissonnette during last year’s training camp. But it didn’t take long for Rupp to get to know the jokester.
“It took about 10 seconds to see what kind of guy he is,” Rupp said. “He’s just one of those guys who keeps it light and lively all the time. Every team seems to have one or two guys that are like that. That’s a very important part for teams to have. He’s hilarious, that’s for sure.”
While Bissonnette is quick to poke fun at nearly everything from Speedos to PT Cruisers, he’s not afraid to make fun of himself as well.
The bio for his Twitter account reads, “Was Evgeni Malkin
and Sidney Crosby
's linemate for 8 seconds once. I didn't touch the puck. Weird.”
The enforcer is sometimes a healthy scratch for Phoenix, and Bissonnette takes the opportunity to take to his Twitter page to crack jokes.
Since the Coyotes spent much of last week in the New York City area, facing the Devils, Rangers and Islanders, Bissonnette joked on Twitter that he was going to the Rockefeller Plaza skating rink to get some ice time.
On the other hand, Rupp’s Twitter account, @Rupper17, is much more docile than Bissonnette’s. The Penguins forward often tweets about his family life. But they both use the social medium to bring fans a new perspective.
“I think it’s a great tool to kind of give the fans something else,” Rupp said. “As a kid, if I had access to follow what guys are doing on an everyday basis or what thoughts are going through their head, it would be pretty cool.”
“It lets them in on my personality and basically the life of an NHL hockey player,” Bissonnette said.
“It’s kind of the same thing as the HBO show,” Rupp said. “It’s the same idea to give you an inside look on those kinds of things.”
Rupp also uses Twitter to follow some journalists.
“I follow some of the media that I have met and enjoyed over the years,” said Rupp, who played with four different NHL teams before joining the Penguins. “I just like to get those different points of view. I follow E.J. Hradek and Kevin Weekes, who’s a good friend. And sometimes they’ll give you news before you even hear of it.”
Not very many NHL superstars have Twitter accounts, and Bissonnette doesn’t see how they could, since it’s easier for guys like him to fly under the radar on social networks.
“I’m a nobody as far as a hockey standpoint goes,” he said. “If a guy like Sid said some of the stuff I said, it would be all over SportsCenter.”
That’s alright, though, because Crosby has no intentions of ever tweeting.
“It’s not something I’m interested in doing,” Crosby said. “The guys who do it, it’s pretty fun to hear some of the posts and follow it, but it’s just something I don’t do.”
But don’t worry, the Penguins who do tweet make sure to fill Crosby in on the hilarity of Bissonnette’s Twitter.
“If there’s a funny one or an interesting one, it always gets around the room pretty quickly,” Crosby said.