Who is the newest Canuck?
Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider must be breathing a small sigh of relief.
Goaltenders remember a thing or two about players that score important career goals against them, and Sestito has a unique relationship with both Canucks netminders.
It was against Luongo that Sestito scored his first career NHL goal as a member of the Blue Jackets back in the 2011 season. Then it was against Schneider a few weeks later that Sestito scored his second.
But make no mistake, scoring goals is not Sestito's job.
In 34 career NHL games, Sestito only has 4 goals and 7 points but has amassed 159 penalty minutes in that short time frame.
Despite losing Aaron Volpatti through waivers earlier this week, the Canucks picked up their own tough guy in the same manner by claiming Sestito from the Philadelphia Flyers.
The two share a similar brand of hockey; they're not very good goal scorers but they can both skate, they can both hit and if it means anything to you, Sestito is considerably bigger.
Volpatti may have packed on about 10 pounds over the off-season this year but Sestito is a natural hulk. At 6'5 and 230 pounds, "Tommy Gun" plays an intimidating and physical brand of hockey that should fit in right away on the Canucks depth line.
In truth, there isn't much that Sestito can bring to the table that Volpatti couldn't. Neither has played on the penalty kill and you'd be mistaken if you thought you saw either on the powerplay. But Sestito has worked his way into the NHL the hard way when you're designated as an enforcer.
Throughout the better part of 6 seasons in the AHL, Sestito has racked up an eyebrow raising 867 penalty minutes, most of them fighting majors.
Volpatti was never drafted and was signed by the Canucks out of Brown University.
Meanwhile, Sestito was picked in the third round of the 2006 NHL draft by the Blue Jackets.
After bouncing around Columbus, Syracuse and Springfield, the rugged big winger may have found a comfortable home in Vancouver, where a desperate need of hitting and fighting was incessantly critiqued by fans and media alike.
For a big man, #29 (his expected jersey number) can skate quite well. In a straight line, he's deceptively quick and that should serve him well with Vancouver's aggressive forechecking style on the depth lines. It matches well with Dale Weise, winner of this year's speed relay contest during Vancouver's super skills contest.
At the very least, he can answer the bell if other teams are taking liberties with the Twins or other top players.
He has 15 fights in his NHL career including 2 this season. He doesn't win all of them but it makes a point that he's a willing combatant when it comes to dropping the mitts.
Canucks fan should anticipate a high-energy player who won't play much but can win the hearts of many if he lives up to his billing.
Sestito is a guy who knows his role in the NHL and what he has to do to stay in it. Make no mistake, when a player is given a second chance after he's been waived, they should understand the message and try harder to succeed.
This writer anticipates an immediate impact from Sestito. After Calgary acquired Brian McGrattan earlier this week, the Canucks needed to respond with their own heavyweight-- it should make the upcoming match between the two divisional rivals an interesting one later next week.
For a team already loaded with enough offensive guns, the Tommy Gun provides a different kind of shooting altogether-- and he's coming, locked and loaded.
The Orca Zone is a nonprofit Canucks.com blog written by Canorcas
Edited by Canorcas, 01 March 2013 - 05:35 PM.