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Sestito sounds off, says he ‘hasn’t been given a fair shake’ in Vancouver

Ryan Kesler

Vancouver Canucks left wing Tom Sestito (29) and Edmonton Oilers left wing Luke Gazdic (20) get into a fight during the third period of NHL hockey action in Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)


Coming off his finest professional season in 2013-14 -- posting career highs in games (77), goals (five), points (nine) while leading the NHL in PIM (213) -- Tom Sestito was probably on a high heading into this season.

Now, though, he’s down in the dumps.

“I haven’t been given a chance,” Sestito told The Province, prior to another healthy scratch against Dallas on Wednesday. “I haven’t been given a fair shake here yet. It’s his [head coach Willie Desjardins’] team, he’s the coach.

“I’m just going to put my head down and do what I’ve got to do.”

The noted enforcer has appeared in just two games this year and played less than 10 minutes all told. A groin injury sidelined him for a bit but, following rehab and a conditioning stint in AHL Utica, Sestito’s now healthy and ready to go.

Just one catch: Desjardins doesn’t think he can play fast enough.

At 6-foot-5 and 228 pounds, Sestito -- who led the NHL in fighting majors last year, with 19 -- isn’t exactly fleet of foot, and that’s problematic for a team like Vancouver that already struggles in the speed department.

“It’s hard to play with that kind of pace when you’re a big body like he is,” Desjardins explained.

As such, don’t be surprised if the Canucks are forced to move the disgruntled Sestito, or subject him to waivers. He already sounds like a guy who knows his future might be elsewhere.

It’s a pretty simple game I play,” he said. “If they’re not a fan of it, I’ve got to play somewhere else, I guess.”