St. Louis Blues Release Paul Bissonnette from Professional Tryout


The St. Louis Blues released forward Paul Bissonnette from his professional tryout contract on Saturday morning. The 29-year-old had been with the Blues since coming in for a no-risk audition at the beginning of training camp.

Bissonnette never had a very good chance of making the Blues’ roster, solely because of the skill set he brings. He’s a fighting specialist, with only seven goals and 15 assists in his 202 NHL games, compared to 340 penalty minutes. With Ryan Reaves, a similar player, and Steve Ott, who is more diverse offensively but can certainly hold his own in a fight, already on the roster, there was little need to add more toughness to the fold.

There was a bit of a cult following of Bissonnette among fans because of his popular Twitter account, @BizNasty2point0. Largely because of his endearing off-the-ice personality, there was hope among some fans that he would crack the 23-man NHL roster, despite the fact that he ended up playing in just two preseason games for the Blues.

A groin pull that he suffered in Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild certainly didn’t help, as it resulted in him missing practice yesterday and being replaced in the game lineup by previous castoff Cody Beach tonight.

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In theory, it’s possible that the Blues could bring back Bissonnette on a two-way contract and send him to the AHL Chicago Wolves, but with several other veterans, including Colin Fraser, Peter Mueller, and perhaps Chris Porter, likely to be in Chicago to begin the year, it’s not very likely that Bissonnette sticks in the organization. There’s an AHL rule that of the 18 active skaters in a given game, 12 must have played in 260 or fewer professional games, and at least one among the remaining six must have played in 320 or fewer pro games. Those games include ones played in Europe, the American minors, and the NHL.

With guys with plenty of pro experience like Fraser, Mueller, Porter, and defenseman Chris Butler who are in the mix to be in Chicago, that creates a logjam that makes it difficult for someone like Bissonnette to be added to the group.