In an era when so many professional athletes are very buttoned up and often provide cliche answers to questions, some find a way to break out of the pack.
Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes is one of the latter. As noted yesterday, even though he’s played less than 100 games in the NHL, his huge following on twitter recently helped him garner more NHL All Star votes this year than some of the top up and coming forwards in the game.
Prior to the Kings-Coyotes match-up yesterday BizNasty – as he’s known to his fans – stopped by MayorsManor for a quick interview. The highlight (or lowlight?) of the interview was him saying this about Kings’ forward Kyle Clifford – “(He) jumped me in pre-season. Then, I asked him to fight last game like a man, (he) wouldn’t.”
The video doesn’t exactly support his case from the first incident. However, after practice today I wanted to see what Clifford and Kevin Westgarth had to say about things…
MM: Bissonnette says you jumped him in the pre-season…
KC: It’s great to say that’s kinda what happened. I grabbed him, he’s got a reputation as a fighter around the league. So, it’s pre-season, you want to show what you can do. I guess he didn’t want to drop them at the time. So, I just kept swinging away.
MM: He says he asked you to fight during the last game and you declined…
KC: Yeah. He’s a heavyweight fighter. I’ll leave that up to Westie, that’s why we have him out here. I’m more of a middleweight. I can score goals and put points on the board. He (Bissonnette) is just out there to fight. That’s his job. I’ll go with guys like (BJ) Crombeen – guys that can play the game and fight as well. He can fight the heavyweights, that’s his role and that’s why he’s on that team (Phoenix).
MM: Walk us through a situation like that. When you decline, do you let Westgarth know that a guy is chirping out there and probably willing to go?
KC: Westie just kinda takes charge usually. Before a game he knows who’s who and who their heavies are. He knows who is more my (weight) class. We talk about it before games. There’s guys that won’t fight him and there’s guys that I won’t fight. We know our jobs. We know who we have to fight and with Simmer (Wayne Simmonds) too – between the three of us we can take care of it from all ends, middleweights and heavyweights.
And what does Westgarth make of all this…
KW: I would probably agree with the video. Biz can think whatever he wants. I think a lot of the fighters, a lot of guys in the role, are inclined to think they won every fight – I know I am. I’ll leave it at that I guess. But, Clifford’s a tough kid. So, he better watch out.
MM: Kyle says he declined his offer for a rematch last game and he’ll leave that up to you as the resident heavyweight…
KW: Absolutely. That’s one of the reasons I’m here. Cliffy can obviously take care of himself against a guy like Biz. But, that’s what I’m here for too and to make sure that if we’re in a tilt, that we’re going to win it for sure. That’s the way I like to look at it.
Bissonnette was scratched from the game Thursday night in LA.
However, the Kings now travel to Phoenix for the second half of their home-and-home series with the Coyotes.
Will he be in the line-up on Saturday night? And if so, will Clifford and Westgarth want to discuss this further with Biz Nasty?
Anything is possible.
Interview with Paul ‘Biz Nasty’ Bissonnette – original interview prior to LA-PHX game on 1/20
Interview with Eric Belanger – Game Preview prior to the last LA-PHX game
Interview with Cam Janssen of STL Blues – he comments on Kings and Biz Nasty
Interview with The Colonel – Kyle Clifford on his awesome nickname