Sometimes support comes from unlikely places. On Saturday, Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner rattled the NHL establishment when he accused some NHL team doctors of giving players unprescribed benzodiazepines and the sleeping pill Ambien.
Monday night, former NHL enforcer Tom Sestito offered support for Lehner’s accusations with his tale told via Twitter. Sestito last played in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016-17. He played a few more seasons in the AHL for the Penguins affiliate and the Toronto Maple Marlies.
Sestito told tales of team doctors giving him “insane” amounts of drugs, including Toradol, in addition to a litany of other drugs such as Xanax, Ambien, hydros, and Celebrex.
“I was given a bottle of Toradol. I was a fringe player in the NHL. After taking them, I felt amazing. Not a pain in my body. You’re taught to believe that the doctors have your best interest, where that’s not always the case. And no, they don’t explain all the drugs they provide,” read Lehner’s Tweet.
Sestito’s admission and the story came in response to Lehner’s weekend bombshell that team doctors are distributing unprescribed and dangerous drugs.
Sestito played for three NHL organizations, beginning with Columbus in 2006-07, the Philadelphia Flyers, and Vancouver Canucks before finishing with Pittsburgh. The former NHL enforcer credited the medical staff in Pittsburgh for getting him off the pills.
“Also, there are great organizations in the NHL, @ team of doctors were the ones to get me off all that shit and were dumbfounded as to why I had all of it to begin with,” Sestito tweeted.
Both NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHLPA planned to discuss the accusations with the Vegas Golden Knights agent of change.
As part of his replies and participation with Sestito on Twitter Monday night, Lehner revealed that he already spoke with the NHLPA, and he felt the conversation went well.
“I understand people are scared. I’ll be lying if I said I wasn’t. I just want change and have it better for the young generation of talents in this league,” Lehner tweeted. “NHLPA had a great talk with me yesterday. Hopefully, it will be with NHL too.”
On Monday, Bettman confirmed he was looking forward to speaking with Lehner, too.
“We take his comments seriously, and we’d like in short order to be in a conversation with him so we can hear his concerns directly, and we’re going to follow up to see what merit there may be to his concerns,” Bettman said to Sportsnet.
Sestito’s story undoubtedly adds fuel to the fire Lehner started, in addition to compelling corroboration.
Lehner offered condolences as part of the social media back-and-forth.
I’m sorry to hear that brother
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) October 4, 2021
WIth some coincidence, Sestitor’s primary photo on Twitter is his entrance to an outdoor game. Across the aisle, also entering the stadium, was Robin Lehner.
VHN will stay on top of the story as additional details and events unfold.