Tough guy Sestito joins Sheffield Steelers aiming to prove he can produce

SHEFFIELD Steelers head coach Ryan Finnerty believes new signing Tom Sestito will prove he is more than just a fighter once he hooks up with the three-time Elite League champions.

The 25-year-old power forward arrives in Sheffield having found his options in North America limited by the current NHL lockout.

How long the Philadelphia Flyers winger remains with the Steelers will depend on how negotiations develop between NHL owners and the players’ union over the coming weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At NHL level – where he has played just 27 games since first being drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2006 – Sestito is used mainly as an enforcer, racking up 83 minutes and 11 fighting majors in his 14 appearances for the Flyers last season.

He has also collected plenty of penalty minutes in his 254 games in the American Hockey League but, as Finnerty is quick to point out, he has also shown he can rack up plenty of points, no doubt one of the reasons why the Flyers signed him to a new one-year deal worth $660,000 in the summer.

“I think Tom coming here gives us a bit of everything,” said Finnerty. “Yes, he’s seen as an enforcer in the NHL but, talking to Steve Goertzen who used to play with him, that’s probably because he hasn’t had the ice time to show what he can do yet.

“The Flyers signed him to a new deal in the summer so they’ve obviously seen something and there’s a big reason why he’s in their organisation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He’s put up impressive points in the AHL and he’s going to give us an extra physical presence out there on the ice.

“He’s a big character and he’ll be pretty vocal – those kind of guys tend to do well here in Sheffield.

“He’s keen to come here and he wants to get back playing and that’s something that will help him – in fact, it’s something that can really benefit both parties.”

Sestito is expected to fly in to the UK tomorrow and will be thrown straight into Saturday night’s league encounter at Fife Flyers, before making his home debut against the Belfast Giants on Sunday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The big ice in Europe I think will help my game,” said Sestito.

“I play a hard-nosed style and I do play hard and finish my checks, but there is a lot more to me than running guys over. I can score goals too.”

Twitter: @PHarrisonYP