On May 5, noted goon Tom Sestito was one of 11 players called to the Pittsburgh Penguins as a black ace. Tuesday morning, Sestito officially practiced with the Penguins for the first time during the 2017 playoffs, signaling a remote chance he could suit up in Game Seven.
Full #Pens practice in Cranberry today. Everyone out there except for Daley and Murray. Tom Sestito has joined the group, as well.
— Sam Werner (@SWernerPG) May 9, 2017
Sestito skated with extras Josh Archibald and Scott Wilson.
Penguins are deploying a line of Josh Archibald, Scott Wilson and Tom Sestito in this practice. Suspect we won’t see that group in Game 7.
— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) May 9, 2017
Since there’s a chance Sestito could play, we thought we should introduce our readers to him.
To start, the six-foot five-inch, 228 pound left wing is one of the most useless players in hockey. He hasn’t scored an NHL goal since January 29, 2014, and has not received more than ten minutes of NHL ice time in a game since April 13 of that same year.
During his nine-year, 330-game AHL career, Sestito has scored ten goals or more only twice. But while he doesn’t excel at things that, you know, help teams win, he does excel at something else: racking up penalty minutes. Sestito has served 1,112 PIMs in the AHL, which averages out to nearly a fighting major per night.
Sure, Sestito is known for being particularly feisty on the ice, and some people enjoy watching that. But in a world where fighting is being pushed out of the game, Sestito’s brand of hockey is increasingly obsolete. Yet he’s still here.
Ken Campbell of The Hockey News describes Sestito’s “dancing bear act” perfectly:
It’s funny, isn’t it, how guys such as Sestito are supposed to be there to keep the peace, yet it’s players like him who cause an inordinate amount of mayhem? Please forgive me if this sounds like a broken record, but it’s sure a good thing the NHL has players like Tom Sestito around to protect skilled players from guys like Tom Sestito.
Now let me walk you through some of Sestito’s greatest moments, the ones that make his parents’ eyes well up with tears of pride.
First, I present you with a typical fight of Sestito’s from way back when he was playing for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011. He delivered a nasty hit from behind on Andre Deveaux of the New York Rangers, leading to a giant melee between just about everyone on the ice and a nice squabbling between him and Stu Bickell.
But that’s nothing out of the ordinary for Sestito. On his first night back in the NHL after being sent down to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Sestito managed to get into a fight and deliver a hit on Winnipeg defenseman Tobias Enstrom in just 1:02 of ice time. The hit would ultimately get him suspended for four games. Along with his suspension, he served 20 minutes in the box for checking from behind and a game misconduct.
While doing that sort of damage in just 1:02 minutes of ice time might be a big feat for some players, even that is child’s play to Sestito. Back in 2014 when he was still playing for the Vancouver Canucks, Sestito amassed 27 penalty minutes for just one second of play against the Los Angeles Kings. That is absolutely insane. Sestito wanted to get revenge for an attempted hit by the Kings’ John Nolan, so immediately after the play started on his first shift on the ice, Sestito dropped the gloves and attacked Nolan, who did not attempt to fight back. For this, Sestito was assessed a two-minute instigator penalty, 10-minute instigator misconduct, five-minute fighting major and 10-minute game misconduct.
27 penalty minutes. In one second. Guys.
And finally, let’s take a look at Sestito’s history with the Caps. He battled our own (actually talented, capable of scoring) enforcer, Tom Wilson, after Wilson gave him a little shove during the Caps 2016-2017 season opener in Pittsburgh. The two were both assessed five minute majors for the exchange of blows.
Sestito also has some hilarious history with the Capitals’ AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. He and forward Liam O’Brien had a bit of a scuffle during a game between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Bears this time last year, and the fight on the ice spilled over to become a wonderfully entertaining fight on Twitter. The social media feud came after the two had been exchanging bitter blows on the ice for a few months.
We can’t wait to see what tomorrow night brings.
Headline Image by Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
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