SHEFFIELD, U.K. – The Sheffield Steelers today announced after recent speculation that NHL tough guy Tom Sestito will be trading the orange jersey of the Philadelphia Flyers for the orange jersey of the South Yorkshire side.
The recent and highly talked about NHL lockout has seen an influx of the worlds best players head to Europe, with a small amount of players coming to the EIHL.
The first of these players was Anthony Stewart who put pen to paper with the Nottingham Panthers after last year plying his trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Then on Monday the Braehead Clan stunned the EIHL by announcing the signing of impressive Detroit Red Wing Drew Miller.
Yesterday the injury ravaged Coventry Blaze confirmed that they had signed Anaheim Ducks power forward Matt Beleskey, another player also on a lockout contract.
Sestito who is known for his physical style of play iced in 14 games with the Flyers last year, after spending the majority of the season with the Flyers AHL affiliate team Adirondack.
In a total of 27 NHL games with the Flyers and the Columbus Blue Jackets Sestito recorded 5 points (2+3) and collected 147 penalty minutes.
Sestito has played the majority of his career in the well-regarded AHL, with the likes of Adirondack, Syracuse and Springfield. In 245 AHL games Sestito has tallied a respectable 112 points (47+65) and 865 penalty minutes.
Some rival EIHL team fans are claiming that Sestito is purely a knuckle dragger or a goon, but his point’s production in the AHL is better than Jeff Szwez and Sean McAslan’s who both put up impressive numbers in the EIHL.
Sheffield Steelers Head Coach Ryan Finnerty spoke about his latest acquisition, “ We had various options to move in many different directions. I do like what Tom will bring us though, some real size, toughness and presence. He is coming here to play first and foremost. He is a proven power forward at the American league level. At the NHL level he has been used more as en enforcer, mainly because he hasn’t had time and the games yet in that league,” Finnerty confirmed.
Sestito also spoke of his decision to join the Steelers, “I’m looking forward to it. I fly out Wednesday and can’t wait to arrive. Initially I didn’t know what I was going to do whilst the lock out was on. I had some options when my agent presented the interest from Sheffield,” Sestito said.
I knew one of my old roommates from my first NHL camp was playing in England. I looked up the league and saw that Steven Goertzen was playing in Sheffield. That certainly helped me make my decision. I’m looking to come to Sheffield and contribute. I know I can score goals. The big ice in Europe I think will help my game. I play a hard nosed style, I play hard and finish my checks but there is a lot more to me than running guys over. I can score goals too,” Sestito added.
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