Better With Popcorn

Getting to Know Power Forward Tom Sestito

Photo courtesy of AP Photo

The Checking Line's Adam Pardes caught up with newly-acquired forward Tom Sestito on Monday to get his reaction to the trade news and how he sees himself fitting in with the Flyers organization.

I know you said that this was your first time being traded. Now that you’ve had some time to let it sink in, how do you feel about the move?

I’m definitely excited and I think Philly’s game definitely has a mold that fits. I’m just excited to get a new opportunity.

On a roster with guys like Dan Carcillo and Jody Shelley and Zac Rinaldo in the AHL, what do you think is going to make you stand out to the Flyers’ front office?

I don’t think I can do anything better than those guys, but I’m just gonna play the puck every game and crash the net hard, get some dirty goals and maybe get a few flashy goals. Just play my game and I think…it’s just rough to have a power forward. It attracts some guys and a team like Philadelphia -- I think it fits well.

You led the Falcons with 12 points in the team’s first 11 games and now you have almost 200 penalty minutes. At this point in your career, do you see yourself as more of a goal-scorer or an enforcer?

I don’t think I see myself as either, I’m more like a mix. I’m getting my goals and I’m getting the fights and stuff because of the way I play, which is just hard-nosed. I’m going to the net and that’s where most of my fights are coming from.

You also mentioned on Twitter that you don’t plan to take it easy on your brother Tim who plays for [New] Jersey’s affiliate. Is there any chance we get to see you drop the gloves with him this weekend?

[Laughs] I don’t know about that. If he’s out there running around, there’s always a chance, but I don’t know if we’re gonna be squaring off any time soon.

Is it interesting having a brother in the league with you? I’m sure it makes for some interesting Thanksgiving dinners.

Yeah, it definitely does. We get along and a couple days before we faced off, my mom wasn’t too excited about it; she always gets nervous, but we like it. It’s another rivalry and it’s about winning the game.

Just a couple questions to get to know you a bit… in your time with Columbus was there one player that you learned a lot from?

The coaches in Syracuse and then Springfield always told me to watch R.J. Umberger, especially on the powerplay. The way he plays in front of the net… he’s a tough guy, he’s always playing the body, and I learned a lot from him.

Are the any particular memories that stand out from your time there?

Probably my first NHL game, getting called up the day we played St. Louis, that was my finest moment -- the first time I stepped on the ice as an NHL player.

How about your first NHL goal? I can imagine scoring on [Roberto] Luongo must’ve been a pretty cool way to come into the league.

Yeah [chuckles], that was definitely a fun experience. I was on the powerplay there and I just got lucky enough. I was parked in front -- that’s were a lot of my goals come from -- but especially for it to be on a guy like Luongo, it was definitely pretty special.

Is there any current or former NHL player who you try to model your game after?

I don’t really know the answer to that question. Maybe like a Todd Bertuzzi, just a big body who can bury [the puck] and fight, I guess a guy like that.

Some things I’m sure the fans are really curious about… in your time in both the NHL and AHL, who’s the toughest guy you’ve ever fought?

Probably [Eric] Godard. He hit me pretty hard and pretty good, so I’d say he’s probably the toughest guy I’ve fought.

Well, I think you’ll get a couple chances to come back at him with the Flyers.

[Laughs] Yeah I know, I’ll get my money’s worth now.

Is there any NHL player who you’d really not want to fight?

Yeah… Jody Shelley! I saw him and grew up watching him play in Syracuse, then met him in my first couple years at camp and he’s one guy I would not want to fight. I’m happy to know he’s in the same organization now.

That’s definitely a good thing. Is there any guy in the NHL who you really would like to drop the gloves with?

I think most of the Philly fans would like if I fought Sean Avery…I wouldn’t mind doing that one.

I don’t think anyone would mind. Last question, is there anything else you think the Flyers fans would be interested in knowing about you or what you bring to the organization?

Just the way I play the game. I’m always gonna give it my all and I’m really looking forward to being a player in this organization and get a Cup there.

Listen to the interview in its entirety here:

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Adam Runquist's picture

Awesome job, Adam!

George Prax's picture

Really proud of you man. Excellent work and great interview.