After the first day of free agency, many players have found new homes. From top-six forwards to career minor leaguers, a lot of deals got done on Friday. Others are still negotiating into Day 2 of the signing period. Some, however, didn't get many phone calls.
One such player is noted tough guy on the ice and social media star on the internet, Paul Bissonnette. BizNasty, as he is more commonly known, last played in the NHL in 2013-14 as a member of the Arizona Coyotes. Since then, he's been patrolling the American Hockey League with the Los Angeles Kings' affiliate and now his contract is up, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Spoiler Alert: We've got a happy update to this story at the end...
The 31-year-old forward decided to chronicle his search for a job through his popular Twitter feed, sharing his UFA experience with his nearly 724,000 followers. The results were highly entertaining.
Let's take a look....
11:54 a.m. ET - Free agency is about to begin
12:09 p.m. ET -- Staying positive.... For a little bit.
With all of the major deals that started flying in the minutes after free agency opened, it's hard when you're left out in the cold, but he's been through this before.
This is usually how it goes. All the big dogs go right away. Role players to follow. Not gonna panic. Stay the course. #NHLFreeagency— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
You can only stay positive for so long, though.
Just fired my agent.— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
12:18 p.m. ET -- A Glimmer of hope?
Could Jim Rutherford be looking for a veteran tough guy to help the minor league club? Bissonnette is a former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin and played his first 15 NHL games with Pittsburgh.
Missed call from a Pennsylvania number. Looks like Pens want a repeat. I'll give it an hour to call back. Make Jim sweat a bit.— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
Well this looks promising. Wait a second...
Called em back. Wasn't Jim. Telemarketer. Had a great conversation about what I could bring to the table. Always keep your options open.— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
Bummer. Better make sure, though.
12:37 p.m. ET -- Let the campaigning begin
A good Ontario boy always dreams of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. When their president of hockey operations happens to be on Twitter, it makes reaching out pretty easy.
The biggest thing is making GM's feel like you have multiple offers. Never come off as desperate. Play with their emotions. #NHLFreeagency— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
It turns out Biz isn't too proud to beg.
1:49 p.m. ET -- Few options available
Sometimes, when desperation sets in, you take what you can get. This actually looks like a really good offer to me.
This is all my camp has been offered so far. Gonna circle back & talk to all the teams. I'll keep u guys in the loop pic.twitter.com/MkKp2gJmQB— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
2:38 p.m. ET -- An old teammate reaches out. Has Biz found an ally?
Bissonnette broke into the NHL during the 2008-09 season when Evgeni Malkin was still just a young pup in the league. He'd be a good guy to have in your corner.
Thought Pittsburgh was out but talks have resurfaced. pic.twitter.com/VoDDA17IB4— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
3:12 p.m. ET -- "Brendan Shanahan" takes a pass
There won't be a homecoming for ol' Biz this year.
6:27 p.m. ET -- Morale is low at the free agency party
A few things: 1. Cool house, man. 2. It's good to know Biz always keeps a microphone handy. 3. Saddest party ever.
7:06 p.m. ET -- Wait a minute, is that David Poile's music?
No! It can't be!
Woah! Hold the phone. Catching wind the Preds are interested. Hang tight...— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
7:51 p.m. ET -- Excitement is building
They FedExed over this beautiful hat. I'm over the moon, they said not to say anything but I couldn't contain myself pic.twitter.com/plPxOedG6L— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
I'd watch a buddy comedy featuring P.K. and Biz. There's a lot of marketing potential there.
Just got off the phone with David Poile. Great convo. Just working out the final details. Long day. I'll announce things officially tomorrow— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 1, 2016
Is this really going to happen? Is Nashville ready for the Biz experience?
8:09 p.m. ET - The dream is dead
Bad news guys. Wasn't actually Poile on the phone. One of my "buddies" playing a joke. Really bummed. Back to square 1. #NoNashVegas 😔— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 2, 2016
Well that's heartbreaking.
While Bissonnette did not get any offers Friday, there's always the chance an AHL team is looking for a guy that can put people in the seats and help promote the team. We've probably seen the last of him in the NHL as the role of the enforcer has dwindled severely, but there's always room in the game for a personality like Biz.
It's great to see Bissonnette meet this stage of his career with humor like this. He has a lot of fans out there and even if you're not a fan, how can you not enjoy his personal Free Agent Frenzy?
Keep punching up, big fella.
July 2, 4:21 p.m. ET: BREAKING NEWS -- Biz Got A Job!
Bob McKenzie, the dean of hockey insiders interrupted his first day of vacation with the story he always wanted to break...
It would take a very big signing to get me to come in off vacation on Day 1 of my holidays, but this one is definitely worth it:— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2016
My good pal @BizNasty2point0 has signed with the AHL Ontario Reign, farm team of LAK. Congrats, Biz. Can't keep a good (1985 born) man down.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2016
And they all lived happily ever after. The End.