Player Profile: Jimmy Besterci

In this week’s player profile, we sat down with Huskies captain Jimmy Besterci. Congratulations on winning the 2015-2016 FHL Championship Jimmy, and thanks for taking the time to speak with us.

Thank you so much for having me this week and man it feels good hearing those words, great group of guys last year.

Your title defense this year got off to a rough start. Are you looking to make some changes early on, or do you think your first win last week is a better reflection of this year’s squad?

Obviously we want to make last week's performance the standard not the exception (Mike Tomlin voice). But in all seriousness it has been a frustrating start to the season we already matched our loss total from last season after 4 games and that does make you as a captain start to question things but I think the main issue has been getting everyone together for a few weeks in a row so we can establish good chemistry and I think we started to find it last week with the Bulls line (Shane, Grant, and Steve). Plus the teams out there are so deep this year there is no easy win but I am confident that the Huskies will start playing like last year and be ready to make a deep playoff run.

You’ve always been known as a captain who is willing to move pieces around. Why have you adopted such an aggressive approach in the trade market?

Sometimes i’ve been overly aggressive and it’s cost me but I do believe in always looking to make the team better and if there are guys out there that I think can help us i’ll try to make a deal. Last year we brought in Mitch, Sabo, and Bob Pellegrino and they were difference makers.

Once again you’re the first team to have new threads for this year since you obviously take great pride in your squad's appearance, is there a deeper team philosophy behind that, or is it just about looking good?

I wouldn’t say it’s a team philosophy or has any deeper meaning, we are just lucky to have such a great sponsor who has been really great to us and the league dating back to the Whalers and Ducks era. I do like switching things up every season though this being my 3rd season as captain and we’ve had 4 different jerseys. I guess that’s one of the fun things you can do as a captain plus the guys seem to appreciate them.

Before your tenure as an FHL captain, you were a top flight goaltender in the FHL for years. Do you think that experience helps you in evaluating goalies to draft, and do you ever miss being back between the pipes yourself?
I certainly miss being between the pipes and yes it sure does help with evaluating the goaltending position, I think Joey from his arrival in the league has been poised to be an FHL all time great and he is a guy we have complete confidence in, now we just gotta get him some offensive support so it takes the pressure off him. It’s nice as well because he’s not always demanding big money like Jamie Zelena is. The FHL has always had some solid goaltending going beyond the starters there are plenty of guys out there that can and have stepped in the net in the past and showed potential.

You were able to retain Ryan Mains from last year’s title team by moving up in the franchise draft, and he seems to have taken more of a leadership role on the ice this year. How do you feel about his development as a player and as a voice in the locker room?

I was thrilled beyond words to be able to move up and get Mains, the negotiations between Z and myself went on for days. Mains is such a passionate guy that hates to lose and I think the whole league knows how vocal he is. You have to have thick skin to play with him it doesn’t matter if you play a few shifts a game or you're the captain if he thinks you did something wrong he will let you know about it. That’s his game though and when the reigning regular season/playoff MVP tells you something you tend to listen. I think having a veteran leader like Shane Lucas on the team will only help him grow as a player and leader. I have no doubt one day Mains will be a captain in this league and will be looked at as one of the best to ever have played.

Alright Jimmy, time for some quick hitters.
Favorite FHL player: Blue line partner for the last few seasons, Pat Farrell.
Favorite FHL team: The Moose organization
Toughest player to play against: Sean Lyons
Toughest goalie to play against: Joey Neutrelle, glad he’s a Husky
Favorite NHL Player: Braden Holtby
Favorite Sports team: NHL - Penguins, NFL - Steelers, College - Uconn Huskies & Oregon Ducks.

About FHL: Franklin Hockey League

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