Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes Cardiff Devils is an outspoken dude. That's why a player with, ahem, limited minutes has become a hockey icon. That's why he's pushing towards 350,000 followers on Twitter.
BizNasty joined the morning show on Sirius XM Home Ice on Wednesday and was as candid as expected. If the current talks don't go well, he said, it could mean "missing the entire season." He said he entered the talks with an open mind about the owners' plight; it changed quickly when he was a part of the talks, saw the numbers and decided it was actually "an owners vs. owners" dispute.
That said, he wants to play. So badly that he'd consider a reduction in salary to do so.
Said Bissonnette (listen to the interview here):
"We're a union. We have to stay together. If anything, it's the opposite of greedy: We're not asking for more money, we're just asking for what we signed for. At this point, would I take a little bit of a rollback? Absolutely, just to get back playing. But we trust what Fehr's telling us, and the way he's leading us. And that's that."
He's also not one to chirp Commissioner Gary Bettman like some of his union brethren have in the last few months. In fact, it sounds like the owners have his ire. Said Bissonnette:
"I just try to stay away from carving anyone. Gary Bettman's just trying to do his job. I know that's against what we're about as far as the players are concerned. But I know he's the messenger. If they're going to pay him $8 million to save them hundreds of millions, well there's a lot of people listening that would do the same job for the money he makes," said Bissonnette.
'I'm more upset with a guy like [Boston Bruins owner Jeremy] Jacobs. It just sounds so hypocritical for him to think the last CBA was so awful and how garbage it was, and then go out and sign three of his top guys right before the last one expired. If it was that bad, why rush to sign those guys?"
Guess we won't be seeing BizNasty in a "Puck Gary" hat any time soon.
Look, you can say that a player like Paul Bissonnette doesn't play enough or make enough to have his opinion matter in this lockout, and there's a element of truth to that: One senses the union isn't all that interested in the plight of the fourth liner.
And yet it's the Paul Bissonnettes of this league that might be squeezed out of their pay grade or the NHL altogether depending on how the talks proceed.
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