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NHL enforcer and fan favorite officially retires

Another bruiser bites the dust… they’re a dying breed.

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According to a report from Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, NHL enforcer Tom Sestito is calling it a career at just 30 years of age.

Check it out:

Former CBJ  draft pick (3rd rd, No. 85 overall in 2006) and player Tom Sestito has decided to retire. Played 154  NHL games with Columbus, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Pittsburgh. Tough guy, but a gentle soul. Always quick w a smile. Congrats!

As Portzline states above, the former Columbus Blue Jackets 3rd round pick (85th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, played 154 career games split between the Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins over his 10 year career. The 6 foot, 5 inch, 230 pound bruiser from Rome, New York was a frequent healthy scratch throughout his career and racked up the frequent flyer miles from all of his AHL/NHL call ups and demotions. He was a prototypical enforcer who managed to put up 200+ penalty minutes in the only real full NHL season he played. During the 2013-14 season with the Canucks, Sestito made an impression on no-nonsense coach John Tortorella who suited Sestito up for 77 games that season. It would be a career year for Sestito, putting up five goals, 9 points and 213 penalty minutes. Unfortunately for him, the Canucks would make a coaching change the following offseason and new head coach Willie Desjardins would waste no time in demoting Sestito back to the AHL.

In total, Sestito ends his NHL career with 10 goals, 21 points and 499 penalty minutes in just 154 games. He terrorized the AHL as well, putting up eight 100+ penalty minute seasons during the course of his 10 year pro career.

For a reminder of what Sestito was capable of, check out this clip of him from his days with the Flyers when he squared off with Milan Lucic, then of the Boston Bruins:

To be sure, Sestito NEVER backed down from a challenge… Lucic, Ryan Reaves, Colton Orr… it didn’t matter who wanted to drop the mitts, Sestito was already ready to go. Check out this epic scrap of him and tough guy Jared Boll going at it:

A true beauty…

The game will miss you, Mr. Sestito. You may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but personally we bemoan the loss of enforcers like yourself in the NHL. Another ones bites the dust…