Canucks take a flyer on a Flyer, claim noted puncher Tom Sestito on waivers

Just one day after being reminded that waiver claims can and do happen when the club lost Revelstoke native Aaron Volpatti to the Washington Capitals, the Vancouver Canucks have decided to act on their newfound knowledge, claiming winger Tom Sestito from the Philadelphia Flyers.

What sort of player is Sestito? Well, he’s 6’5″, 230 lbs., with 149 penalty minutes in 34 NHL games. He once fought 3 times in a game versus the New York Rangers. In the AHL, he had 867 penalty minutes in 180 games. Sounds like a skill winger.

Or a big guy that punches people. To make room for Sestito, Andrew Ebbett has been met at the airport and told to turn around.

Yes, Sestito is a heavyweight. Here he is dropping the gloves with our very own Zack Kassian, although it’s worth noting that, in that clip, Sestito’s less “big guy that punches people” and more “big guy that gets punched”.

Sestito has some interesting history with the city of Vancouver. He was drafted here in 2006 at 85th overall, two spots after the Canucks selected Christian Ehrhoff trade piece Daniel Rahimi who, to the best of my knowledge, still exists. Sestito played in the 2007 Memorial Cup in Vancouver with the Plymouth Whalers. And his first NHL goal came against Roberto Luongo:

His second NHL goal came against the Canucks as well, with Cory Schneider in goal at the tail end of a 7-3 Canucks blowout over the Columbus Blue Jackets:

So you can see why the Canucks claimed him: to stop him from scoring against them. Sure, the Flyers don’t play the Canucks this year and also Sestito was on his way to Adirondack, who don’t play the Canucks ever, but better safe than sorry.

Okay, so why did the Canucks claim the guy? Were they confused, thinking Tom was actually his brother Tim, a fringe NHL centre in the New Jersey Devils organization? Did David Booth request an outspoken Republican friend? (Speaking of which, Sestito should be happy. He threatened to move to Canada last year because of President Obama’s taxes. Now he gets to! Of course, he’ll be markedly less happy when he discovers he’ll pay more in taxes now that he’s here.) Maybe Alain Vigneault saw Sestito’s city of birth –Rome, New York — and made the claim in a forlorn moment of weakness while sobbing Aaron, oh Aaron, why have you gone?

Maybe Gillis confused Sestito with Dorito and the waiver wire with the vending machine?

Or, and this is the more likely explanation, they thought he could help, and decided to take a Flyer.

We know that Sestito can hurt people, so he brings that quality to the table and should help to quell the folks panicking over the loss of Volpatti. But Alain Vigneault won’t play him if he hurts the Canucks too, either in terms of taking penalties or bleeding chances. What made Aaron Volpatti a valuable enough commodity to get claimed in the first place wasn’t his hits or his willingness to fight — it was those things, in combination with the fact that he wasn’t a liability on the ice. If Sestito can play big and responsible, then the Canucks have effectively used the waiver wire to gain five inches. But if he can’t, expect to see Sestito back on the waiver wire shortly.

This is a bit of a head-scratcher because Sestito has the look of a goon, not a bona fide NHL fourth liner, but this really is a no-risk pickup. Remember when the club claimed Kris Beech in 2007-08? Beech played four games here. Then the Canucks decided he wasn’t working out and they waived him again, no harm, no foul.

Sestito likely won’t have long to make an impact. His spot in the lineup will be gone the moment Steve Pinizzotto completes his conditioning stint (provided he survives it). In effect, he has anywhere from two to four games to prove he can provide toughness without also providing offensive opportunities for the opposition. If he can, the Canucks will consider keeping him around. If he can’t, he’ll get Beeched.

15 comments

  1. steveB
    March 1, 2013

    argh, so many changes to wrap my head around!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  2. Colby
    March 1, 2013

    Cant complain about this, getting something for nothing. Hopefully he is atleast servicable at draws?

    The comment about the tax’s is awesome! So true aswell, hes probabaly googling income tax in BC now going WTF.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  3. Kenji
    March 1, 2013

    He just missed Pink Shirt day, unfortunately. Welcome to Lotus Land!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  4. iceman
    March 1, 2013

    Hope he brings something to the table, but very unlikely he’ll stay for long… Remember Byron Bitz?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  5. Brent
    March 1, 2013

    Sorry, but this seems really stupid. Get rid of this goon and bring Ebbett back. Speaking of which, I suspect he is really bummed out.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
  6. Timmy Wong (@timmywong11)
    March 1, 2013

    If Volpatti’s waiver loss means the season is over, does the arrival of Sestito mean the season’s back on?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  7. madwag
    March 1, 2013

    “take a Flyer” is spot on delightful!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  8. chinook
    March 1, 2013

    With a game coming up against Calgary, any chance Sestito acquisition is to “complement” McGrattan? If the game should go that way…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  9. paul Mackay
    March 1, 2013

    I’ll just say it’s nice to have a team that can loose a Kesler (are there more then one, imagine being chased by a gaggle of Keslers?) and all the roster juggling happens on the 4rth line. When you can get your 4rth line guys to step into 3rd line minutes and not suffer too badly that’s not a bad thing. I remember the Harold Druken days folks…things we’re always so rosy here.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  10. Sestito could be a 20 goal scorer
    March 1, 2013

    He already has 2 goals this year in just 7 games (averaged out over an 82 game season, this would be 22/23 goals!), he also boasts a 66.7 percent shot percentage, a real marksman! Put him on the second line AV…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
    • Colby
      March 1, 2013

      Ive also seen that he has a 66.3 % in faceoffs, id say bump Henrik down to 2C and stick him between Burrows and Daniel.

      Thats how waivers work right? Most shocking development of the day is that the Islanders claimed neither Volpatti nor Sesito. Garth Snow on a vacay?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  11. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 1, 2013

    Well, perhaps they’re acquiring a fighter so they can safely scratch Zack Kassian without any negative effect.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  12. Wetcoaster
    March 1, 2013

    Maybe it’s a message to Kassian that they now have a designated hitter (heh) so would he kindly concentrate on little things like scoring?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  13. Alex Levy
    March 1, 2013

    You missed out on the perfect opportunity to link to “beached as” with that last line.

    Harrison I am disappoint.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  14. Frank and Earnest
    March 1, 2013

    Like the pick-up and the optics. Nucks have been threatening big scary guys who can play the game and now we maybe have two. Or more. Maybe Pinizzotto and Sestito both stick. Good. I want big dangerous men out there to discourage those wimpy cheap shot artists who target marvelous sedinery and other blameless Canucks activities.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)