Every team in the NHL has an enforcer.
However, The Phoenix Coyotes skated into training camp without their “enforcer” on the team. They would find their problem solver three days before the start of the 2009-2010 season.
Paul Bissonnette, 24, was claimed on waivers by the Coyotes back on Oct. 1 after failing to make the Pittsburgh Penguins roster. Bissonnette started his career as a defenseman but has since translated into a unique forward.
Todd Richards, the head coach of the Minnesota Wild, made the move for Bissonnette from defense to forward while he was playing in Wilkes-Barre.
Richards told Bissonnette that they were going to move him up front as a try-out. The try-out has since been successful, as Bissonnette is now a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.
There is a certain reward for playing the style of play that Bissonnette has. The Frank Selke Trophy is awarded to the top defensive forward in the NHL. Last year, Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings won the Frank Selke Trophy.
If Bissonnette continues to play as an intimidating defensive forward, he could considered as a candidate for the Frank Selke Trophy at the end of the season.
Although he is not known as a scorer, he’s only taken two shots all season, with one of them going in. Instead, he is known for sticking up for his team mates on the ice.
If you haven’t seen him play on the ice this season, then you probably have seen him in the penalty box. Bissonnette leads the team in penalty minutes despite missing the first three games of the season due to being a last-minute addition to the team.
Bissonnette has become a fan favorite in Glendale but also an opponent’s headache this season. Bissonnette currently has six fights on the year and heading into tonight’s game against Dallas, don’t be surprised if he adds another fight to his resume.
Although it is early in his career, Bissonnette has the makings of becoming the next Tie Domi. Domi played 16 seasons in the NHL and was known throughout the league as the enforcer.
Domi should have built his house next to the penalty box as he served 3,515 minutes in the penalty box, which is almost equivalent to sitting 59 straight games in the penalty box.
Domi’s most memorable moment came while he was in the penalty box. Back in 2001, an intoxicated fan jumped into the penalty box after Domi squirted the fans with his water bottle.
The fan then knocked over the glass causing him to have a once in a lifetime experience and fight perhaps the greatest “heavyweight” of all-time in the NHL, Tie Domi.
Domi was never known as a goal scorer; instead, he prowled the ice watching out for his team mates or when necessary gave a momentum swing for his team, similar to the role Bissonnette has with Phoenix.
It is only a matter of time until the rest of the NHL takes notice of the secret weapon that is starting to become unraveled in Phoenix.