Who's this guy?
Tom Sestito. Tommy Boy. Facepuncher extraordinaire.
Position: Left Wing, and / or couch.
Weight: 228 lbs
Born: September 28th, 1987, in Rome New York. He was at one time drafted in the 3rd round, ( 85th overall ) by the Columbus Blue Jackets ( think by Doug MacLean ! ) . Did you know Tommy Boy was once better than a point a game player, with 42 freaking goals, for the Plymouth Whalers ( OHL ) in '06 / '07 ? It's true !
What'd he do?
Mostly ate press box popcorn, while getting increasingly vocal about his perception that the Canucks were not giving him a fair chance this year. He was sent down in early January, after only getting in three games with the NHL club. ( And a player like Tom has to clear waivers to do so. That means everyone in the NHL had a chance at you my friend, and the Canucks even would have been stuck paying part of your contract. They all passed. Food for thought ? ) After a goal and 20 PIMs in the few times Travis Green had a spot for the big guy, the Canucks could not even find a roster spot in Utica, and the local upstate NY native ended up being let go from both rosters on Feb 23rd.
So was he any good?
He sure thinks so. Obviously, the Canucks do not. Po-TAE-Toe - Po- TAT- Toe. This article from Puck Daddy has some pretty juicy quotes on the subject. Evidently, Sestito wants to get on a Western Conference roster and be a thorn in the Canucks side. He is only 27. He is HUGE. It is the fact that he cannot get around the ice quite fast enough to compete in the new NHL, at least in the Canucks' estimation, that led to his current state.
Look at Derek Dorsett Tommy Boy. It is not the fact that you are a pretty good facepuncher. Anyone willing to risk health for their sport has to earn some respect as well. But Double D' can do that AND play hockey. I know you think that you can still do so too, and we have all heard you refer back to that last year of junior and the offensive production, when the reporters ask about "hands".
That kind of production is hardly surprising for a guy bigger than teenagers, who can dominate because of that size. Yes, 6'5" is still big for the NHL. But it is hardly the game changer for him that it was in the OHL. You actually need to show you can actually do it in the NHL for folks to be interested going forward.
What'd we like?
Facepuncher gotta facepunch, but this is a part of why Tom got let go. Yes, Jordan Nolan is a bit of a weasel, but it was hardly surprising that he suckered Tommy into the penalty here. Stand up for the captain, of course. We always like that, at least. But be smarter about it. Nolan laughed all the way to the bench...and he wasn't the only one.
This was some of the resulting press from above. The "boxing hobo on skates" got some back up from his younger sis ( in addition to those 27 minutes for one second's work ) on twitter that made people laugh too. But this whole thing was probably indicative of the opinions of his game going forward to today, for right or wrong.
Cool. So what did we hate?
I hate when athletes try to step into politics. His politics are reputed to be pretty far to the right ( and for the record, that is fine. We are all entitled to our place on that spectrum. 1st Amendment and all that ). He is certainly not the first athlete, fringe or superstar, to say something dumb on twitter. But is Fox News parroting here on a situation where someone died was probably a case where the Canucks would have appreciated him to just pause before hitting the tweet button.
So what now?
Who the hell knows ? Maybe he gets a figure skating guru or something ( fresh out of retirement, after the "scandal" that ended his career coaching figure skaters ), whose no nonsense ways and innovative methods lead to a resurgence in Tom Sestito's career. I can see the MOTW as we speak.
It would make for an awesome montage ( complete with the long cardio sessions on the bike watching Fox and surfing the Tea Party news, and on ice sessions complete with falls and frivolity as he and the coach bond ), and a great comeback story. They could get a bulked up Tom Arnold for the role. Hell, he might even get a day time Emmy out of it. ( Call me Tommy. We'll do lunch. ;-)
He is still young enough for someone to take a shot on the obvious physical gifts and the fact that, for all the humorous takes on his career, Tom Sestito is one of under a thousand people to play in the best hockey league in the world. ( More like 7-800 when you get to the fringes and rosters. That thousand would include everyone in the AHL, KHL and otherwise with a shot, remote or otherwise, at some NHL ice time next year ) To do what millions dreamed of doing and failed at, for whatever reason. Whether he succeeds or not, that is an accomplishment.
Like I said. Who knows. He may find a spot somewhere, AHL or otherwise. Even now, there is probably a GM out there that looks at his page and sees that OHL production as something more than men against boys. But let's face it. He has 10 goals ( 2 on the PP ) and 18 points ( a career -22 as well, for what that is worth ) in 137 NHL games, and 432 career PIMs.
A "facepuncher by any other name is still a facepuncher...", to mangle the bard...no ?