After a notable hiatus, BizNasty is about to take the NHL by storm.
Three years after his last NHL game as an Arizona Coyotes tough guy and Twitter god, Paul Bissonnette is on the verge of launching a project guaranteed to grab the attention of the hockey world.
Armed with the humour that garnered @BizNasty2point0 more than one million Twitter followers, Bissonnette wrote, directed and starred in a soon-to-be-released mockumentary called BizNasty Does B.C.
Coming to @viktresocial mid November. A 5 part mockumentary series in beautiful British Columbia. We have incorporated 17 NHL’ers and a few other big name athletes. We take you on a ride as I start the next chapter of my life. THE WORLD OF MEDIA. I cannot wait to share this with the hockey world. Thank you to @pengellyink for creating our poster. #BiznastyDoesBC #Viktre
1,454 Likes, 25 Comments – BizNasty Does BC (@biznastydoesbc) on Instagram: “Coming to @viktresocial mid November. A 5 part mockumentary series in beautiful British Columbia….”
Conceptualized with an eye on trying to show the lighter side of today’s players, the five-episode, 50-minute feature includes 17 past and current NHLers including Connor McDavid, Trevor Linden, Shane Doan, Shea Weber, Seth Jones, Brendan Gallagher and, well, some other special guests.
“Episode 2 is pretty wild, we’ve got Brendan Shanahan and Lou Lamoriello chasing us in a helicopter,” smiled the personable 32-year-old as he excitedly scrolls through various parts of the flick on his phone.
“We had to superimpose their heads, obviously. They found out I was hanging out with Morgan Rielly and they absolutely didn’t want me hanging around their star defenceman. So they chase us in the helicopter.”
Think of Strange Brew meets Spinal Tap, meets Curb Your Enthusiasm.
It’s brilliantly funny and will be a must-see once it’s released on Viktre.com – a social media platform for athletes.
“The idea of the whole thing is I’m getting into media and I have this delusion in my head like I’m this media stud and I want to come into it with a big bang and it just goes bonkers,” said Bissonnette, who retired from hockey earlier this year and was named the Coyotes radio analyst and ambassador.
“It’s a tour around B.C. – Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, the Shuswap, Whistler, Pemberton with me meeting up with all these players and things seems to keep screwing up along the way as I burn bridges with all these hockey guys. By the end there are only a few guys that are not fed up with me.
“It was a fun thing, but very stressful, producing, writing and acting, if that’s what you want to call it. I think people will enjoy it.”
He’s not wrong – it’s destined to grab huge attention for its hilarity and endless cameos. It’s also shockingly slick for a production made for $35,000.
“I had to dip into my pocket for another $20K but hopefully when it comes out it catches some steam and opens some doors,” said Bissonnette, who is already in talks for a second feature.
“We’ve got some big names involved. I wanted to show a lot of the guys’ personalities.”
Before John Scott had his two months of fame, Bissonnette carried a similar torch for tough guys, garnering attention in every city he played in (or was scratched in) because of his refreshingly raw, candid, clever and entertaining tweets – four characteristics not generally associated with NHLers.
It’s what made him so unique, approachable and likeable.
Unlike most athletes today, he just got it. He understood at the end of the day it’s really all about entertainment and his limited role with the team gave him the latitude and time to express himself on Twitter.
With his connections and personality he wants to try bringing a different side out in the mockumentary like only he could.
“I did it for a few reasons – I think hockey fans are starved for content relating to the players,” said Bissonnette, who was wildly popular with his teammates over five seasons in Phoenix.
“There’s this assumption they don’t have personality, but it’s a sport where a lot of these guys are humble and they don’t want to be the centre of attention. And I completely understand that.
“When I got on social media and did all that stuff it wasn’t because I wanted the attention – I just wanted to joke around. I was just the average Joe who made it to the NHL and I wanted people to have an inlet to see what that life was like.
“Some guys get comfortable with that lifestyle, but every time I got on that private jet and a steak was dropped off in front of me I couldn’t believe what the hell was going on. I’m still amazed by it.”
Bissonnette establishes his clownish nature early in Episode 1 when he’s slated to meet Jack Eichel in Vancouver.
“My producer couldn’t book him but didn’t want to tell me and let me down, so I show up and it’s Sam Reinhart instead – I lose my mind and make it extremely awkward before trying to patch it up on a bike ride through Stanley Park,” he explained.
The last straw for Reinhart comes when he walks out of a bathroom at the beach to find Bissonnette soaking up rays in his Speedo and decides to bolt.
“The guy was an idiot,” says Reinhart to the camera afterwards.
“Is he from here? Does he know I’m from here? His facts were so wrong. I’ve got to go – this can’t be happening right now.”
A scene in which he comes across age-old NHL hotspot, The Roxy nightclub on Vancouver’s Granville Street, includes an excited Bissonnette running in slow motion to the bar where he lays down a towel on front, kneels on it and starts bowing.
“Batted over .1000 there – there will never be another place like it,” he says as narrator.
Scottie Upshall, Jason Garrison, Erik Gudbranson, Brenden Dillon, Taylor Pyatt and Boyd Gordon are a few others who appear in the series.
The adventure culminates with Bissonnette and Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie wagering $10,000 on a car race between the two in Porsches on a professional racetrack just outside Victoria.
But not before McDavid makes his acting debut.
“I’m all upset I can’t get any NHLers for the last episode and all of a sudden McJesus appears in the sky, ‘Hey Biz,’” chuckles Bissonnette.
“Keep in mind, these guys had no idea what was going on. They showed up and I gave them their roles. Most of the guys were pretty good actors, except Matt Irwin. He was terrible.”
Biz is back, and the NHL is better for it.