Paul 'BizNasty' Bissonnette earns tryout invite from Blues

Paul Bissonnette will hope to earn a spot with the St. Louis Blues. (USATSI)
Paul Bissonnette will hope to earn a spot with the St. Louis Blues. (USATSI)

The St. Louis Blues are taking a chance on currently unemployed pugilist/Twitter star Paul Bissonnette, more affectionately known as “BizNasty.” The club extended the former Arizona Coyotes forward an invitation to attend training camp on a tryout basis.

Bissonnette appeared in 39 games with the Coyotes last year and had eight points including a pair of goals. He averaged just 4:45 of ice time per game.

In 202 career games, which also included 15 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bissonnette has racked up 340 penalty minutes.

The fact that the Blues already have a resident tough guy on the team in Ryan Reaves, as well as a few other players that are more than willing to drop the gloves, it’s hard to see exactly where Bissonnette will fit in. That’s why teams give players a tryout though. There’s essentially no risk in it and perhaps something clicks however unlikely it may seem now.

Bissonnette is better known in the sports world for his often comical Twitter presence (@BizNasty2point0) and also became an even bigger viral sensation this year with his truly epic ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" video.

The fact that Bissonnette has had such a hard time finding work is yet another indication that NHL teams are starting to move away from designated enforcers. A number of Bissonnette’s peers are still without NHL contracts at this late stage of the offseason including the likes of George Parros, Kevin Westgarth, Matt Kassian, Zenon Konopka and Krys Barch.

As NHL rosters become more focused on puck possession, which often means increasing the overall skill level, enforcers are getting squeezed out for more well-rounded players. There’s always going to be a place for toughness in the NHL, but toughness by itself doesn't look like it's going to be enough for a lot of teams anymore.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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