Pittsburgh Penguins Bring In Forward Tom Sestito

By Larry Snyder

The Pittsburgh Penguins disclosed Wednesday morning that they signed left wing Tom Sestito to a professional tryout contract. Sestito, who will turn 28 in September, has spent time in the National Hockey League with Columbus, Philadelphia, and Vancouver.

The Rome, New York, native has participated in 137 career regular-season contests over seven NHL seasons with the Blue Jackets, Flyers, and Canucks. He contributed 10 goals and eight assists for a total of 18 points and 432 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-5, 228 pound, forward is reported to be the largest player attending the Penguins’ training camp. His best stretch in the NHL came with the Canucks in 2013-14. He put up career highs in games with 77, goals with five, assists with four, points with nine, and penalty minutes with 213. Those 213 penalty minutes led the NHL. Sestito’s 121 hits ranked third on Vancouver that season.

Sestito entered the pros through the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The Blue Jackets made him the 85th pick overall when they selected him in the third round. He has seen time in the American Hockey League with four different squads. The left-handed shooter played in 256 career AHL regular-season match-ups. Sestito recorded 48 goals and 65 assists for 113 points and 887 penalty minutes with the Syracuse Crunch, the Springfield Falcons, the Adirondack Phantoms, and the Utica Comets.

He accompanies veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar as players that the Penguins have brought in for a tryout this September. There are no guarantees either will make the final roster.

Beyond The Boards: One interesting development this week involved recently acquired right wing Phil Kessel. Head coach Mike Johnston told Sam Kasan on the team’s web site, “You’ll probably find (Kessel) starting on the right side with ‘Sid’ to begin with. But things do change in camp.”

General Manager Jim Rutherford and Johnston played in the 18th Annual Penguins Alumni Charity Golf Classic. The event was held Tuesday at the Valley Brook Country Club in McMurray. Revenue raised benefits ACHIEVA, Magee-Women’s Research Institute & Foundation and the Mario Lemieux Foundation.