While some of the talk has died down, there has been a great deal of buzz surrounding Phoenix Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette and his campaign to get into this season's NHL All-Star Game. Coming into the season, Bissonnette was anything but a household name, but Bissonnette has earned attention as a potential All-Star for this year's game. It's not his play that's garnering this attention, but his Twitter account.
Bissonnette, 25, is a rare breed on the Coyotes roster that lacks in brawn. However, the steady play out of Nolan Yonkman has left little room on the Coyotes roster for an enforcer, leaving just around five minutes of ice time for "Biz Nasty" per game. And that's when he dresses. Yet, Bissonnette still finds himself in the All-Star hunt.
Now Bissonnette may be the ultimate "guy I'd have a beer with" type of player, but the fact that he's anywhere near the running for the All-Star Game is a joke. He has yet to even register a point on the season and has 15 penalty minutes in the 10 games he has dressed for. How is Bissonnette getting so much attention, considering he's not even on the ballot?
Biz Nasty has created a nice little campaign through the use of social media. His Twitter name, @BizNasty2point0, has gotten to over 22,000 followers, many of which have voted for him in the NHL's fan voting. There's also a campaign on Facebook to get Bissonnette to Carolina. Whether he actually thinks he belongs there, or he's just trying to prove the futility of fan voting, is not clear, but he's certainly doing plenty of the latter.
What's even stranger is that Bissonnette's campaigning has actually worked, to some degree. To this point, he's received more votes than a household name like New Jersey Devil forward Ilya Kovalcuk. While Kovalchuk's 10 points and minus-11 are nothing to write home about, the fact that Biz is getting more votes than a big name like Kovy says something about the power of social media.
While I like Bissonnette's character and drop-the-gloves attitude as much as the next guy, his campaign is proving exactly what is wrong with fan voting. Sure, we want to see our favorite players on the ice, but who really wants to watch him try and hang with Alex Ovechkin?
Right now Bissonnette leads all Coyotes in All-Star votes. That includes the likes of Ilya Bryzgalov and Keith Yandle. While the NHL took a step in the right direction with the concept of "picking teams" at the All-Star Game, situations like this demonstrate how absurd the fans can be.
It may seem like I'm overreacting, given that Bissonnette's chances of getting in are slightly higher than the chances of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, but it's more the broad idea of fan voting that has me irked. There are guys that were left off the ballot that deserve write-ins. Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp are the two that immediately come to mind. Spend your write-in votes trying to get these guys to Carolina, not Bissonnette.