It's Tom Sestito's birthday today. He cleared waivers earlier this afternoon, a move that will allow the Philadelphia Flyers to send him down to the Adirondack Phantoms. He also was slapped with a four-game suspension from the NHL today. Happy 24th, bud!
In reality, Sestito should probably feel lucky. He was only suspended four games for the hit, one that was much worse than the hit that earned Jody Shelley a 10 game ban last week. The fact that Shelley is considered a repeat offender and Sestito is not certainly played into each decision, but the fact still remains: Tommy got off easy here.
The AHL will review the suspension and they have the right to ban Sestito for those two regular season games as well, honoring the NHL's suspension. It's at their discretion. Either way, Sestito will have to serve his suspension at the NHL level.
It would make sense for the Flyers to wait until the end of the preseason before actually sending Sestito to Adirondack, therefore allowing the first two games to tick off the clock now during the preseason when there are no roster limits. He's already cleared waivers, so the Flyers have 30 days to keep him in Philly before they have to send him down. If they were to wait 31 days, he'd have to clear waivers again -- but that's not really a concern. He'll be sent down before the regular season begins.
Ahem, update: He was sent down TODAY, according to Frank Seravalli of the Daily News. We're not sure if he'll have to serve two games when he returns or if he'll have to serve the four, even though two were intended to be preseason games. Preseason games technically like... don't count as anything, so it's a little unclear. We'll update if we get some clarification. Update two: It's only a two game ban when he returns. Makes sense.
While he's in Adirondack, the NHL suspension doesn't count, so if and when Sestito is called back up to the Flyers, he'll have to sit for the two regular season games before playing. Two games where he's on the game roster. He does not require re-entry waivers to return to the NHL.