Sestito possesses a lot of the elements Edmonton’s management group values: leadership, playing through injury, paying the price to win. He is the modern Kelly Buchberger based on all the information available to us and it is extremely likely he will play in the NHL someday for the Edmonton Oilers.
The question I have is “what exactly does he do to help his team win?” Well he can check, he can get the opponent off their game, he can belt someone and change the momentum of a game. These are not terribly rare strengths and the current Oilers roster has an entire line devoted to this very skill set.
Still, you can see him being an Oiler down the line. He could make the roster this fall in a “Dominc Pittis has made the club as 14F” kind of way.
His AHL stats are not impressive (he’s not Rem Murray) as his minus 19 ranks him in a tie (Colin McDonald) for dead last in the group of Falcons forwards. Liam Reddox is at the other end of the spectrum at +13. He has been in 7 fights (by my count) in the AHL this season.
The Oilers like his grit and think the areas he needs to improve on (skating) are fixable. If we’re honest about him, Tim Sestito would be exceptionally close to #50 on that 50-man list the Oilers have for contracts and signing him means not having the opportunity to pick up useful parts off the waiver wire.
It also may have an impact on which draftees, college players, RFA’s and minor league free agents will be extended contract offers. Given this team has a 4th line who can do that job, along with minor leaguers like JF Jacques who are projected to someday fill that role this would seem to be overkill.
I think there are more valuable players who could take that slot among the Oilers top 50. Perhaps a college free agent or a European player like Bumagin or Hrabel. The Oilers are entering an interesting summer and this piece of the puzzle is a curious move.