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What Happened to Tom Sestito?


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That globe and mail article's pretty interesting, I must have missed it. Window into the 'death of the enforcer'. It sounds more like a group effort by a lot of teams to change the league than I realized.

The last bit pretty much answers the question of what he's up to. Bored and frustrated, just a small town guy, living in a lonely wo-orld.

In Vancouver, Tom Sestito complained to reporters after sitting for two months. “I kind of went off the deep-end with the media,” he now admits. “I voiced my displeasure through the media and I don’t think I should have done that. At the time I thought it was the right play. Things couldn’t get any worse. But now I’m here.”

Down in Utica, he directed his grievances at coaches rather than reporters, insisting he was far better than the fourth line to which he’d been relegated. “I played in the AHL long enough to know I’m not that,” he says. “We just came to an agreement that I’d practise at home and they’d work on trading me. Now I’m stuck in limbo.”

But his dad worries about the practice time. In the morning, he says his son works out like a madman, hitting the gym with a trainer and skating alone at a local arena. “But by 2 p.m., he comes home, calls up his old crew and heads out.”

In the coming months, he may head to San Diego or Florida to train free of distractions. “I need to clear my head,” he says, finishing his coffee and standing up from the booth. He’s gentle but outgoing in person. Local kids are drawn to his affable personality. “I want to get back because I want to show a lot of people what I can do,” he says, smiling. “I want to play Vancouver, like really bad. All the management, coaches – I want to stick it to those guys.”

He fires up his SUV and pulls out of the icy parking lot, craning his neck to see what’s behind the next snowbank.

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we will take him in the german league if he is bored. He wont be able to fight much because of the suspensions, but he is skilled enough to play here . I think the fans here would like him. 100 grand a year is better than nothing plus getting to explore europe must be more fun than his home town.

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Waived to Utica then benched by Utica and parted ways with the organization

That is correct. He is working out on his own. He hopes for a shot with a different team next year but could end up in Europe or the KHL next season.

He has grit and hands to play at the NHL level but the orgainization thought his foot speed and skating was not up their liking.

I liked Tom and everything he did for this team. However, our 4 line system could not include Tom Sestito. With players like Kenins and Dorsette who can skate, score, grind, and fight, Tom became the weakest link. In the few games he played with us this season he did well but not enough to keep him here.

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I don't know why people are knocking him so bad. Making the NHL at all is quite a feat that requires a tremendous amount of work and commitment. Less that 5% of major junior and college players ever play in the NHL. This works out to only 1 major junior or college player on each team who has a legitimate shot at playing in the NHL.


His career is probably over, which must be such a disappointment for him. It's not like one of you guys losing your job at Future Shop. Tom's losing everything he's ever dreamed of and worked for. He's got a huge transition ahead.

All the best of luck, Tom!

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he had a bad attitude when he was benched because he couldn't keep up or play the required number on min that WD wanted out of our 4th. then his attitude got even worse in utica and he started getting scratched down there, and then TG didn't even want him around the team anymore because of his attitude so they told him to start working out on his own effectively immediately. Good riddance if you ask me. he clearly is delusional about what he offers.

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he had a bad attitude when he was benched because he couldn't keep up or play the required number on min that WD wanted out of our 4th. then his attitude got even worse in utica and he started getting scratched down there, and then TG didn't even want him around the team anymore because of his attitude so they told him to start working out on his own effectively immediately. Good riddance if you ask me. he clearly is delusional about what he offers.

No kidding!

I don't even know why he has fans on this team? I've never seen him do anything of significance on the ice.

I know he's big but seriously what does that have to do with anything unless your one of those people who needs to drive the biggest crew cab with the biggest tires ever to your office job down town. lol like seriously ?

Bertuzzi could skate circles around Tostito that's why Tosti doesn't have a job. That's like me crying about losing my chance to be an NHL player.

If he was so concerned about being an NHL PLAYER maybe he should have learned how to skate.

And Yes big guys can learn to skate fast and hard. There are lots of big fast skaters in the NHL.

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I don't know why people are knocking him so bad. ...

I started this before seeing the post from avelanch, so unfortunately what is below partly duplicates it, though in different words. I'm personally down on Sestito over his attitude. I'll include why by way of other posts I made late in 2014 and earlier this year. As will be seen, I think his attitude was so bad the Canucks had no choice but to keep him away from their prospects, and wondered about that before he even practised with the Comets.

Last December 8 Buzzsaw wrote in the Tom Sestisto to Utica on conditioning stint thread, and I replied, as follows:

*Buzzsaw*, on 08 Dec 2014 - 10:53 PM, said:snapback.png

If Sestito loses 15 lbs and gets down to the weight he played in junior and shows us some speed like junior then by all means give him a shot... otherwise... he's too slow and fat.

We don't need somebody whose strongest point is being a goon.

We need players.

My reply in the same thread was:

The question of Sestito's weight was made clear to him in the offseason. News reports indicated he'd been clearly told to come in lighter, that he would be expected to fight less and would have to play a regular shift to earn his way into the lineup.

He got hurt in his 2nd game after a long sitting spell. It was really clear that the way he'd originally gotten to the NHL, fighting, wasn't enough to get him in the lineup for this season's Canucks.

After that, if he is now overweight it raises concerns about his work habits and motivation.

Later, in the "Sestito wants out if Nucks don't give him a chance" thread:

He was asked to be lighter so as to be faster, being told the Canucks didn't want him just as an enforcer but as a player.

When he came back from injury he'd put on weight and was sent on a conditioning stint to get the weight off (as well as, presumably, getting otherwise into game shape.)

Then, he said, having been clearly told that wasn't what the team wanted from him:

“I know he wants me to change ... I’m just playing the same way I’ve always played. That’s what got me here. It’s what got me into this league, being a physical presence. It’s what I’ve got to do to be in the lineup. It’s a pretty simple game I play, and if they’re not a fan of it, I’ve got to play somewhere else, I guess."

Message-they want me to change, but I'm not going to do what they want. If they don't like it I'll play somewhere else.

What do the Canucks do with him after that kind of direct challenge?

On January 3, in the thread "Canucks place Tom Sestito on Waivers"


Realistically, though, how could they possibly keep Sestito? They told him to slim down and that he needed to play. When he finally got in to play, he got hurt. After he got over his injury he was over the weight the Canucks wanted him to be and was sent to Utica to get into shape. He came back up and said he played a simple game and if they didn't like it he'd need to play somewhere else.

I'm amazed he ever got into another Canucks game. I guess they wanted to try to get something in trade, but really, who is going to trade for a guy who not only can't pull a regular shift but essentially tells management he's a goon and won't play hockey no matter how badly they want him to.

and later the same day, on the same thread (as can be seen, I wasn't aware on January 3 that a veteran couldn't be assigned to the ECHL without his consent):

I actually wonder how much they'll play him in Utica. Maybe they'll give him lots of playing time, but one wonders for what purpose.

Is he someone they want to develop, or just someone they want to get rid of? Is there reason to play him ahead of prospects?

If he's just someone to get rid of, is he better than the non-prospects presently getting playing time in Utica? That isn't a rhetorical question, I really don't know.

Is Utica being beaten up so that they need an enforcer?

Will he be a good guy in the locker room? I'm not asking if his teammates will like him-typically he's been described as liked by his teammates. My concern is that he's someone that's challenged his team on his playing style. Do they want that around their minor league development locker room?

This might be a strange thought, but what about sending him to the ECHL, at least at first?

-if he's still of the view that he knows how to play better than the coaches and management know, then he's not a good guy to have giving ideas to the prospects and sending him to the ECHL keeps him away from the best of them

-sending him to the ECHL might impress upon him the seriousness of his predicament if he hasn't realized yet that he could be out of hockey next season if something doesn't change

-is his hockey game too good for the ECHL? I don't know the answer to that one. He's pretty horrible in the NHL and apparently hasn't realized it. His line in the 3 games with Utica earlier were 3 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, no penalty minutes and +/- 0. Was he as invisible as that suggests? He scored about 0.6 ppg in the AHL in 2010-2011.

The sad thing is, Sestito does have some hockey ability. If he put his mind to it, he might have gotten-indeed, still maybe could get- to be the level of playing a regular 4th line shift in the NHL, given some allowances for his willingness to play physically.

Hopefully that explains why I, at least, have been down on him for a long time now. In my view he was told what he'd have to do and thought he knew better, refusing to change.

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From that Globe and Mail article:

Now, here he is in his 27th year, making $850,000 to clutch a Styrofoam cup and stare out at the snowbanks.

“This right here, what I’m doing right now, I’m bored out of my mind,” he says. “I wake up in the morning and wonder what I’m going to do besides work out.”

I don't want to pile on. Probably yet another Tortorella casualty. He hated 4th liners like Sestito and Weiss and would barely play them. Probably felt if he only played a few shut down minutes a game then he couldn't prove himself offensively, like Weiss. Because of that year, Linden and Benning didn't have much of a record to go on, I don't blame them for cutting him lose. But he could have put his head down, shut up, and worked hard. Never know, gawd forbid Dorsett or another more scrappy element goes down, he may have been called up again. but it sounds like he was still pouting in Utica. Good luck to him.

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I am not a Tom Sestito fan, but I think some people are being a little hard on him and gloating over his fall.

But he does need to get his head around where he is.

The fact is, the NHL is changing, speed, goalscoring and sound defensive play is at a premium, and Sestito doesn't fit that skillset.

The man has made a lot of money in the NHL, (a lot by most people's standards) and should take the earnings he has, and move on.

If he wants to play hockey, he should go to Europe... hell who wouldn't be happy playing in Italy, making 100,000 a year, with all those gorgeous Italian babes cheering him on.

A couple years of that, and then time to invest in a little Trades Training, and a life time career in a blue collar job, with his house and car paid off.

What's to complain?

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I never feel glad about someone losing their job. Fact is, though, he was told what he needed to do and didn't, as Tyhee has observed. And it's not as though it was just Vancouver: he cleared waivers, so nobody in the league wanted him. It's a shame because he actually does have some skill and could conceivably play in the NHL again if he got in shape and learned to skate better. But he stuck with the "dream" of being a one-dimensional enforcer, and it came to this.

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