Backup woes for Coyotes' Bissonnette

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

PHOENIX — For Paul Bissonnette, it's not the phone, but the contacts that matter.

The Phoenix Coyotes forward had his cellphone stolen on the team's recent trip to Edmonton and is worried the information may fall into the wrong hands.

"I have a lot of (NHL) guys numbers on that, I feel bad," Bissonnette said. "I don't want guys to have to change their numbers and things like that. That was my main concern."

Bissonnette, who's become a Twitter sensation, had his phone swiped while in Holt Renfrew on Friday.

"I went to Holt Renfrew, because I had to get a scarf, because it was freezing in Edmonton," Bissonnette said. "I went there and I put my phone down with my bag and I was trying one of those Canada Goose hats, because they had a 'Save the Polar Bear' thing going.

"I turned back and grabbed my bag and I figured I maybe put my phone in my pocket. I started walking out of the store and realized I didn't have my phone. I went back, it wasn't there, and I thought maybe I dropped it or something."

Bissonnette kept his phone on for a day, hoping he would be able to track it down. When a friend received a random text, he figured it had been stolen and wasn't getting it back.

It was then discovered, whoever took the phone made a pair of calls with it.

"He called two guys on their cellphones," Bissonnette said. "I called the two numbers and the guys weren't very co-operative. They basically told me I could go screw myself.

"I didn't have my contacts backed up, which was a rookie mistake. I had the phone for seven years and I never backed it up once, I'd never lost it before. There were a lot of contacts on it. But I put out a message on facebook and they're slowly coming back."

A Welland, Ont., native, Bissonnette, 25, has played just eight games for the Coyotes this season.

The six-foot-three, 220-pound winger was once again a healthy scratch on Tuesday when the Coyotes hosted the Oilers.

However, due to his popularity on Twitter, were he has over 21,000 followers, Bissonnette has earned over 9,500 write-in votes on the NHL All-Star ballot.

He has more votes than Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils, whose name appears on the ballot.

"That's hilarious," Bissonnette said. "But there's no way I'm going to the All-Star game, the league will kibosh it, if it happens."

Going by the moniker, BizNasty2point0, Bissonnette never figured he would become so popular on the social networking forum.

"I had 3,500 people on Facebook, and I thought all those people would follow me on Twitter," Bissonnette said. "Then it just kind of took off. I'm not at (Justin) Bieber status, but I'm getting there. I think I'm third in the NHL.

"It's fun, it's joking around. Hopefully it stays activated, which means I won't be saying anything too offside."

Bissonnette's tweets are usually not hockey-related. They are more to do with humorous observations about life.

He's become known for tweeting about giving to the homeless and encouraging people to do the same.

"Yeah, that snowballed, it kind of took off," Bissonnette said. "But it's good to give something back. We're going over Thursday to a mission help feed the homeless."

With so many followers, however, Bissonnette now has to take extra precaution on what he sends out.

"When you have to think 21,000 people, not all of them think alike," he said. "You say one thing and somebody laughs and someone else thinks differently and tell you that you can't say that. You can't keep everyone happy. If you don't like what I say, then don't follow me. It's a choice, you don't have to.

"We had a couple of issues with the Coyotes, and they basically have (Communications director) Rich (Nairn) babysitting now."

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


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