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Bissonnette on Pittsburgh, '24/7' and the Steelers - 12-21-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

If you ever have the chance to chat with Coyotes forward and former Penguin Paul Bissonnette, there are pretty much two things which usually are guaranteed to happen.

1.) You feel like you're talking to a long lost friend.

2.) Twitter gets brought up.

We're proud to say we managed to avoid the latter yesterday. "It's kind of overkill," Bissonnette said yesterday of the interview requests he gets regarding his popular Twitter account, @BizNasty2point0.

While avoiding his social media popularity yesterday, Bissonnette chatted about his return to Pittsburgh, the first episode of "24/7," the Steelers and heads shots in the NHL.


On Pittsburgh.

"I love this city. I love coming back. I played here, it's a blue collar town. You feel a connection with the people that are in the building. Because it's a small community when you go out, even if you're a plug on the team, people knew who I was. They're like 'Good job tonight.  Great win!' It's almost like a big family this city. They're so addicted to their sports. It's almost like the balance of their days rests on your shoulders. I just like that idea of it. "

On being a Steelers fan.

"Honestly, the only team I ever rooted for was Green Bay before I got to Pittsburgh. I didn't really watch football much and I went to the (2008) AFC Championship game against the Ravens where (Ravens running back Willis) McGahee got crushed at the end of the game. It was one of the cooler sporting experiences I've ever had as far as when they came out of the tunnel and they were playing that "Renegade" song by the Styx there."

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On the NFL and NHL adjusting to rules involving head shots.

"It's weird because it became a problem all of a sudden (in the NFL). And it was just weird because it was like one day it was all of a sudden, 'Okay, we've got to address this.' Didn't anybody talk about this in the offseason? But all of a sudden they made a rule. I think you got to evolve and adapt as far as far as sports are concerned. You look at our game, I can't even remember playing with the red line. And you look at how much better it is for the game. Shots to the head, you're keeping good players in the game. You're trying to prevent against injury. it's such a fast sport. it's a gray area. They'll probably discuss more of it in the offseason. I think evolution is good for the game."

On the NHL's rules regarding head shots.

"I think it's good. Especially coming from a physical guy. I don't run around like that looking to put guys out. I'm just there to take the body and separate them from the puck. That's what's contact for. I'm all for the big hit but we don't need to see guys like (Panthers forward David) Booth out for a month and a month and a half. It's sad to see it."

On fancy shootout moves recently displayed by Oilers forward Linus Omark and Coyotes forward Kyle Turris.

"It puts fans in the seats. It's like if they took fighting out of the game. I'm sure some people would be upset. I think that's really the only part of the game where everyone will stand up and watch for a minute or whatever it is. Then you got the shootout. It's just an exciting part of the game. And it's part I can't do so I respect it. It's cool to see."

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Members of the Lightning complained Omark's goal was disrespectful. Do you think they were speaking out of frustration after a loss?

"One hundred percent. I didn't see the game but I know they played really well and deserved to win and didn't. But those guys shouldn't be complaining because that puts fans in the seats which means more money in our pockets in a sense. You got to have some creativity"

On "24/7."

"It's pretty cool. It's funny how you see both teams and the highs and lows of an NHL hockey season. Not that I'm happy that Washington's losing like that. I never wish anything bad on them but it worked out really well from a viewers standpoint to see that. When you're winning, guys are joking around and it's all roses. When you're loosing.... ohhhh... it's miserable."

Nothing on the show seemed forced?

"No, not at all. It's not scripted. It's the epitome of reality TV."

(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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