New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

Happy birthday, Tom Sestito: Flyers winger gets waived, four-game suspension

Normally, Sept. 28 must be a joyous day for Philadelphia Flyers winger Tom Sestito. Barring religious limitations, it’s likely that this day has been full of cake and presents and good old-fashioned fun during his first 23 birthdays.

His 24th might not be quite as spirited (although there might be cake, too).’s Sarah Baicker reports that the NHL suspended Sestito for the remainder of the preseason and two regular season games for a hit from behind on New York Rangers forward Andre Deveaux. Some might call the punishment surprisingly “light” – Rangers head coach John Tortorella said that it was worse than Jody Shelley’s hit, although he might be a little biased – but it’s important to note that Sestito isn’t a repeat offender.

One might argue that at this point, every new suspension sheds a little more light on Shanahan’s decision-making process. (James Wisniewski’s suspension showed that an actual contributor can get a stiff punishment, for example.) This one is interesting, though, because it shows that sheriff Shanahan will clearly pick on people with a rap sheet far more than those with a clean record.

To compound an already trying day for Sestito, the Flyers put him on waivers. Chances are he’ll be back in the AHL soon enough, which might force the minor league to consider his NHL suspension. Who knows if he’ll get many other opportunities at the NHL level in the future, but hopefully he learns from this mistake, because he’s certainly paying for it.

We’ll update this post in the likely event that Shanahan will release an explanatory video.

Update (6:45 pm ET): The suspension might cost Sestito $5,945.94 – although that gets a little tricky since he might not play those NHL games anyway. Here’s that video we were talking about.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.

Fabbri primed to make Blues in significant role

Jason Demers, Robby Fabbri
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With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.

During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.

“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.

“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”

The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.

Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.