Mar 012011
New Flyers minor leaguer Tom Sestito

New Flyers minor leaguer Tom Sestito

By Justin Adkins:

The Flyers lead the Eastern Conference in points and the entire NHL with 40 wins.  They’ve played dominant hockey this season and have a team full of skilled players, veteran leaders, and great depth.

So it’s not really a surprise that the team made no more moves at the trade deadline.  

“[N]othing came up that made sense for us. As I’ve said, I like our team . . . and we’re ready to go,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.  And it sounds like the players also know it was smart not mess with a good thing.

“We’ve been playing extremely well all year, and we’re pretty confident with the group of guys that’s in here,” said center Blair Betts.  “There’s a lot of good chemistry, and sometimes, you just don’t want to mess with it.”

A couple weeks ago, the Flyers traded first and third-round picks for winger Kris Versteeg so it’s not like they did nothing to improve.  An already deep offense is now even better.  The team also called up Erik Gustafsson and claimed Nick Boynton, though those moves were in response to a nicked up defensive unit needing some support.

“We made a few moves over the last few weeks to add some depth and solidify some positions,” said veteran defenseman Chris Pronger, himself struggling with a recent wrist injury.  “I think for us it’s looking forward and looking at what we need to do to be successful.”

The Flyers did make a minor league move, picking up Columbus winger Tom Sestito for a couple prospects — forwards Michael Chaput and Greg Moore.

The 6-5, 228-pound Sestito, 23, played only sparingly for the Blue Jackets this season, putting up two goals and two assists with a minus-4 rating in nine games.  In 46 games with their AHL minor league affiliate in Springfield, Sestito scored 11 goals and had 21 assists while racking up 192 penalty minutes.  He will not be joining the Flyers though as he will be sent to the Phantoms.

Holmgren is obviously a fan.

“He had 30-some points with Springfield, which would make him our second-leading [AHL] scorer. He’s a big kid that we always liked, and we think he has a chance to play at some point for us, whether it be later this year” or next. “Certainly next year, he’ll get a good look.”  Could Sestito possibly be a replacement for Dan Carcillo, a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent?

Sestito himself appears to be happy about coming to the Flyers organization.

“Rumor has it Philly likes seeing an ass kicking!  Hope to see you soon and will give you what you want!” he said via Twitter.

Philly does indeed like an ass kicking. 

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