March 20 2012 10:11PM
Andrej Sekera is not a big man by NHL standards--6.00, 201--but he does a lot of useful things for an NHL team. In our ongoing look at possible blueline additions, we head to the "city of no illusions" for a possible solution.
Sometimes true beauty is right in front of you, perhaps obscured by earrings or a towel or maybe a great distance. In the case of Sekera, he's almost 300 games into an NHL career spent entirely in Buffalo. Not a lot of deep playoff runs there, and in the case of this 25-year old defender not a lot of notice despite an impressive resume.
In the interest of full disclosure, Sekera is not a player I had planned on profiling for this series. Alan Hull passed along the suggestion and a close examination suggests he's on to something in regard to the young man from Bojnice, Czech.
HOW DO THEY USE HIM IN BUFFALO?
The Sabres appear to run a rather democratic system in this area, with Regehr and Weber getting the toughest assignments but not a lot of distance between 1 and 6.
Regehr and Sekera are playing the tougher opponents in Buffalo this season and Sekera's results (60, 3-10-13 +1) are solid. This is a pretty good player here and he's done it before (good numbers a year ago in these categories).
That's a splendid Corsi Rel based on Qual comp. It tells us when the young man is on the ice (against tougher opponents) the puck is heading in a good direction. He's having a fine season.
TOI AND OFFENSE
- EV: 16:56 a game, 2-10-12
- PP: 0:50 a game, 1-0-1
- PK: 1:40 a game, 0-0-0
If you've been following the series, Sekera doesn't fit the other defensemen in this group in terms of overall minutes and how he's being used. Sekera is a top 4 option at even strength, but doesn't play heavy minutes on the PK and the PP minutes are mostly devoted to Ehrhoff, Myers and Leopold.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Sekera is an effective two-way defender with good speed and an ability to advance the puck. He doesn't have size and is a 2nd pairing defender. Edmonton could certainly use him and he'd be outstanding Ryan Whitney insurance. I'd guess Oiler fans would consider him among the 4 best options (Smid, Petry, Schultz) if he were an Oiler next season.
Sekera is signed through 2015 summer and has a reasonable $2.75M cap hit. Buffalo has 20 players under contract and only about $5 million left in cap space. They might be willing to offload Sekera for a less expensive roster player and or a prospect or pick. Hell, maybe the Oilers can acquire Drew Stafford while they're at it.
Alan Hull's right. Andrej Sekera is a player of interest for the Edmonton Oilers. Previous posts in the series: