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Better know a free agent: Paul Bissonnette

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The Coyotes most popular fourth-liner is a pending free agent. Can the Coyotes lure Evgeni Malkin's former line mate back next year?

Christian Petersen

What better player to evaluate on Cinco De Mayo than Paul "Biz Nasty" Bissonnette, Mexican beer aficionado? Paul Bissonnette, was claimed by the Phoenix Coyotes on waivers after failing to make the Pittsburgh Penguins roster out of training camp in 2009. In 2011 Biz signed a two-year extension that expires this summer.

Amongst all the pending free agents, save for possibly Radim Vrbata, no other Coyote player is as popular with the fans. His work with charities and community groups has also earned him recognition outside of Jobing.com Arena as well. In his postseason press conference Biz stated that he "Hopes to Stay with Coyotes" and that he would be happy to continue his career in Arizona.

"I love it here," Bissonnette said, "I bought a house here so I’d be very happy to stay."

Paul had career highs in points this year (eight), and career lows in fighting majors with only three. His ice time also increased, as his elevated play seemed to impress his coaches. His alter ego @BizNasty2point0 has a huge following, bigger than all but four NHL teams, in terms of follower count. That kind of reach is a marketers dream and the new social media savvy owners would be wise to use it to their advantage.

If he is re-signed, his role will likely still be a 4th line player who is out on the ice to create energy and physical play. Last year, Bissonnette's salary was approximately $750K; if an offer is extended, he would likely earn around the same amount with increases every year as the cap expands. If no offer is tendered, or they can't come to terms, the Coyotes will have to look for a new 4th line social media star...