Can Paul Bissonnette Help the Leafs?

Paul Bissonnette, former member of the Phoenix Coyotes, has been getting a taste of the free agent lifestyle this summer. It is likely that Paul is not enjoying his unrestricted time the way Thomas Vanek did, but the hockey world believes that his lovable energy will soon find him a home. Is there any chance this Twitter star and 4th line bruiser will be wearing the Maple Leaf on his chest come October?

The series features a number of players looking to make their mark of playoff history for the first time like Paul Bissonnette (Wikimedia Commons)
Paul Bissonnette preparing for playoffs at Coyotes practice (Wikimedia Commons)

Those who disagree he is right for Toronto seem to latch onto the phrase, “we don’t need another fighter,” which is certainly true. With the way the NHL is moving, having two roster players willing to drop the gloves is plenty; however, Paul Bissonnette offers more than a strong right-hook.

Considering his recent career was in Phoenix, Toronto fans never really saw Paul play the game. But then again, given his ice time, no one really saw Paul play the game.

Why he is wrong for the Leafs:

  • Has a depressing total of 21 points in his last 187 NHL games
  • Similar players such as Orr, Bodie, McLaren, and Broll make him a want, not a need
  • With hardly any salary cap space, every nickel should be spent wisely
  • He is a danger to all men with girlfriends in Toronto

Why he is right for the Leafs:

    • Brings the obvious aggression & toughness which has always been a key to Leaf success
    • Had a career high point total last year
    • A true defenseman growing up playing junior, Paul naturally plays a safe defence-first style game
    • He was born and raised in Welland, therefore Don Cherry would classify him as a “good Ontario boy”
    • Adds some much needed charisma to a rather media-dull team. Here is Paul explaining how to pick up women at the bar…

There are reasons both for and against BizNasty2point0 coming to Toronto. As mentioned before, he is not a necessity. But for someone who had less goals last year than double consonants in his last name, he sure knows how to create a soft spot with fans.

No one expects Bissonnette to step into a new organization and suddenly become a point producer, but he can certainly make a positive difference. He would contribute in ways that go unseen both on and off the ice. Remember, Paul was the captain of the OHL Saginaw Spirit, he won gold for Canada in the U-18 tournament, and he was the MVP of the CHL’s Top Prospects game. Despite his self-deprecating sense of humour on Twitter, the man can play hockey when given the chance.

His personality is undoubtedly infectious and his high spirits would serve as a helpful ingredient towards building a strong Maple Leaf squad.