Sufferin' Sekera!

Lowetide
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?

ZONE STARTS

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.

QUAL COMP

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). 

CORSI REL

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:

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Jay Gray
March 20 2012, 10:22PM
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FIST!

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#2 Walter Sobchak
March 20 2012, 10:32PM
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LT great articles on possible defense for the Oilers.

This is definitely the area of concern for the Oilers, moving forward I would only keep Smid-Shultz-Sutton-Petry-and the blue chips. Whitney is done, is it just me or has he not been the worst defense man the last month?

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#3 Hemmer's skills
March 20 2012, 10:33PM
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I think that Sekera would be a great addition. With that in mind where should he be on the offseason priority list for tamblowe? While sekera is obviously a good player, we need a obviously want to try to grab a # 1 d, then get players like this locked up after we have our top pairing for the cup runs set!

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#4 Time Travelling Sean
March 20 2012, 10:38PM
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Isn't he a pest player too? Not sure but he seems to like beaking.

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#5 Lexi
March 20 2012, 11:02PM
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LT,

Sekera seems like the right type low risk pickup who could definitely fit in our top five. I also like that he is Slovak, which means he could be a mentor for Maracin and Gernat. You look at Buffalo's cap situation for next year and I get the feeling the Oil could get quite a few assets from them for AHLers and picks. Do you realize if they could also get Stafford for a package with Gagner, that Sam would improve their size at centre.

Is there any reason for the Oil to go after Kalata as well. Is he enough of a pest for Gregor's liking?

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#6 MrCondor
March 20 2012, 11:19PM
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Excellent articles. Keep them up!

Gritty top 6 for the next series?

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#7 Alan Hull
March 21 2012, 07:15AM
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Thanks for the mention LT.

Agree entirely with your conclusion. In my mind the Oilers need to add 2 guys to their top six next year, specifically in order to reduce the expectations placed on Ryan Whitney. Sekera would be the 2nd addition and a higher profile player should still be targeted as well. As we discussed my choice is OEL, although we disagree on the chances he is available.

I think adding a player like Sekera, plus one more top 4 player would let the Oilers have Smid-Petry as a 2nd pairing and Whitney-Schultz as a 3rd pairing, and then you are talking about a legitimate NHL blueline for a team that can contend for a playoff spot.

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#8 absolutely NOT
March 21 2012, 07:24AM
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so...you want another "maybe" dman on this team? This team doesn't need players like this. i think the opposition this year has taught us that our skilled guys are gonna get beat up and no body is going to do a damn thing about it. adding another "maybe he'll fit in the top 4" im sorry, ISNT the answer.

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#9 Alan Hull
March 21 2012, 07:33AM
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@absolutely NOT

There's no maybe about this guy. He IS a top 4 defender and has been for a couple of years.

He isn't a #1 guy, but Lowetide stated as much in his post.

The team needs to add two players this off-season. Sekera is a good fit to be that 2nd guy.

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#10 DBO
March 21 2012, 07:46AM
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Broken record: Dennis Wideman. RH dman, plays more physical then Sekera, way more offense, etc. No assets required, and a perfect pairing with Shultz. However, he will cost a lot.

Sekera is a low end option that is a 3/4 at best. I like your idea of him and Stafford. If Buffalo misses the playoffs, they may clear some folk out in order to change the culture. Stafford, while not overly physical is a solid two way player (who would bring back memories of Penner, without the higher end skill). Issue would be the cost? If you can move a Peckham (tougher dman to pair with their finesses guys) and a prospect or cheaper forward gives them cap space to make other moves.

I'd sooner try to pay Penner and Wideman then deal for Sekera and Stafford. Go crazy and get both? That would solve a whole bunch of issues. Make us a playoff contender, make us much bigger (although not much more physical) and push some kids back to the farm (ala Detroit).

Hall-Gagner-Hemsky

Penner-Nuge-Eberle

Smyth-Horcoff-Stafford

Eager-Belanger-Jones

Smid-Petry

Shultz-Wideman

Whitney-Sekera

Way more size, way more experience. That is a team built for playoffs, Goalie still an issue, but we have assets to make a move.

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#11 Dman09
March 21 2012, 08:33AM
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Alan Hull wrote:

There's no maybe about this guy. He IS a top 4 defender and has been for a couple of years.

He isn't a #1 guy, but Lowetide stated as much in his post.

The team needs to add two players this off-season. Sekera is a good fit to be that 2nd guy.

I agree with considering Sekera but not Stafford. The way I look at it the only way to make a Stafford + Sekera deal work would be to include Gagner. Something along the lines of Gagner + Omark + Peckham + picks. My problem with this is who takes over the center position lost? Neither Horcoff or Belanger can do it and Lander isn't ready for a top six role yet if ever. Sure they could draft the big Russian center at the draft but are you 100% sure he can handle top six mins next season or will he need a season of development first. If management if sure that Gregorienko, however you spell it, is ready for prime time as a 2C they go for it but I think Harti has made a push to keep the line of him, hemsky and gags together as they have looked really good lately and seem to have chemistry. Do you really want to break that up?

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#12 michael
March 21 2012, 08:33AM
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Barker is done. The Oilers may rethink what they have in Ryan Whitney. I could see a deal that moves him for another first round pick. Or a player like Garrison. The Oilers need to look at making room for another prospect at the 7-8 spot. Tuebert is the most ready but needs further seasoning. I just think that the Oilers have had to many soft dmen playing for them. They have not played heavy on the opposing teams forwards. Petry for example has added that to his game and is rounding out to be a very good dman.Smid plays heavy. Shultz puts his body in the way. Sutton plays heavy to a fault sometimes. Peckham still needs to learn when he needs to turn into Teddy Peckman.But Whitney and Potter do not even through ahit some games. as much as Renny likes Potter I would like to see an upgrade to another more physical dman this off season. TheOilers need to be more physical and less fancy. Othe teams need to know that when the play the Oilers its going to be a hard nights work. You need to make th forwards pay the price.

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#13 Dman09
March 21 2012, 08:48AM
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@michael

Not just the forwards need to pay the price the hole team does. They should be hitting guys so hard that even the coach is sore after the game.

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#14 Smokey
March 21 2012, 10:13AM
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absolutely NOT wrote:

so...you want another "maybe" dman on this team? This team doesn't need players like this. i think the opposition this year has taught us that our skilled guys are gonna get beat up and no body is going to do a damn thing about it. adding another "maybe he'll fit in the top 4" im sorry, ISNT the answer.

Why do you not think this team does not a guy with a positive corsi? He can be an 18-20 min guy on a team the lacks consistent defensemen. The Oil have two consistent healthy defenders in their top 4 in Petry and Smid.

If we were able to aquire him you lineup going into next season could look like...

Petry Smid

Murray/ Reinhardt, Sekera

Whitney, Shultz

with decent 6/7 options in Sutton, Potter...

It would allow the Oilers to leave all the prospects I. The minors and junior to develop properly.

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#15 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 21 2012, 11:03AM
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Nothing matters much if you don't have that No.1 horse on the back end. Edmonton has a lifetimes supply of the 3-8 guys now. If they don't have one coming up through the system now then they need to go out and buy one at a heavenly price.

You can't have someone in this role you hope will develope into that full time No.1 guy. He has to be the guy now and take the pressure/minutes off of the rest of the blueliners. Oilers need to focus on aquiring Shea Weber. By the time Klefbom,Musil,Gernat,Murray/Dumba etc are ready for the NHL the Oilers will probably be dealing with one or more of their big three wanting out of Edmonton. They've already suffered through two difficult years. Management needs to go above and beyond to show these kids they believe in them as well.

With a two birds with one stone move like this management could break this losing is our best option cycle they've enjoyed for 3 yrs now. If Tambellini does a sideways move like this Sekera kid [low reward is what you get for a low risk move like this] then our Oilers are a lottery team again next yr. The Oilers have nothing in their system now that will be able to fill this role for atleast 5 yrs.

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#16 Evilas
March 21 2012, 11:26AM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Quicksilver,

Other than Weber, who are the other #1 dmen the Oil should go after, and at what price?

Also,don't you think there should be another legit NHL Dman added to this roster? I don't think Potter and Peckham qualify. I'd rather give those minutes to Tuebert or to which ever prospect(s) shows the most promise next year....

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#17 Smokey
March 21 2012, 11:28AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Nothing matters much if you don't have that No.1 horse on the back end. Edmonton has a lifetimes supply of the 3-8 guys now. If they don't have one coming up through the system now then they need to go out and buy one at a heavenly price.

You can't have someone in this role you hope will develope into that full time No.1 guy. He has to be the guy now and take the pressure/minutes off of the rest of the blueliners. Oilers need to focus on aquiring Shea Weber. By the time Klefbom,Musil,Gernat,Murray/Dumba etc are ready for the NHL the Oilers will probably be dealing with one or more of their big three wanting out of Edmonton. They've already suffered through two difficult years. Management needs to go above and beyond to show these kids they believe in them as well.

With a two birds with one stone move like this management could break this losing is our best option cycle they've enjoyed for 3 yrs now. If Tambellini does a sideways move like this Sekera kid [low reward is what you get for a low risk move like this] then our Oilers are a lottery team again next yr. The Oilers have nothing in their system now that will be able to fill this role for atleast 5 yrs.

I agree on with you totally about going after Weber, but a scenario where we bandaid a backend with a guy like Sekera is more likely at this point.

I think if the Oilers bring in a Murray or Grigorenko, add some size up front and stay healthy, I hope we can see a progression to being a playoff team.

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#18 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 21 2012, 11:52AM
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Evilas wrote:

Quicksilver,

Other than Weber, who are the other #1 dmen the Oil should go after, and at what price?

Also,don't you think there should be another legit NHL Dman added to this roster? I don't think Potter and Peckham qualify. I'd rather give those minutes to Tuebert or to which ever prospect(s) shows the most promise next year....

There's always the Pronger option. He can control the pace of a game, or Lidstrom, but he's soon to retire i guess. So, it's all in or nothing for Weber.

The Predators can have anyone not wearing 4,14,93 and perhaps 58, add to that pile the Oilers first in 2013. Nashville can pick four, any four.

Petry could fill in along side of Weber till someone else takes the No. 2 job. If Lidstrom can turn Vanna White into a top 2 in Detroit i'm sure Weber could do the same here in Edmonton with Petry. Klefbom,Musil,Gernat, one of these kids has to come as advertised, hopefully two make the club eventually. Weber will stop the bleeding sooner rather than later on the back end.

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#19 Closetgm
March 21 2012, 12:16PM
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Great article!!! I really think that phaneuf could be a great addition to this team if he were available. I don't know why lowetide wrote about him first but if he is available the oilers should be listening. Opinions of phaneuf aside what does he do. Hits, tough to play against, pp, gets points not a lot but some, and he has fought a couple of times this year. That was the only real issue I ever had with phaneuf was his lack of willingness to drop the leather. How awesome would it be to see phaneuf beat up on the flames for the next 5 or so years.

One more thing. Anyone that wants to trade Whitney right now is crazy. He has not yet recovered from the injury. We need to get him to summer so he can get the proper training and recovery program. Trading him this summer would be counterproductive. He is the best defenseman on this team when he can skate properly.

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#20 D-Man
March 21 2012, 12:23PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

There's always the Pronger option. He can control the pace of a game, or Lidstrom, but he's soon to retire i guess. So, it's all in or nothing for Weber.

The Predators can have anyone not wearing 4,14,93 and perhaps 58, add to that pile the Oilers first in 2013. Nashville can pick four, any four.

Petry could fill in along side of Weber till someone else takes the No. 2 job. If Lidstrom can turn Vanna White into a top 2 in Detroit i'm sure Weber could do the same here in Edmonton with Petry. Klefbom,Musil,Gernat, one of these kids has to come as advertised, hopefully two make the club eventually. Weber will stop the bleeding sooner rather than later on the back end.

You're 100% right - Weber would definitely stop the bleeding and help us get to 11th overall in the west... Now's not the time to pursue a Shea Weber - two years from now... In another year, maybe two - our 'kids' will be leaders and will be able to carry us to something better than squeaking into the playoffs... If Klefbom or Marincin's don't develop into those top 4 d-men we think they are - then we make a big splash in the FA market... Otherwise - stay the course...

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#21 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 21 2012, 12:54PM
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D-Man wrote:

You're 100% right - Weber would definitely stop the bleeding and help us get to 11th overall in the west... Now's not the time to pursue a Shea Weber - two years from now... In another year, maybe two - our 'kids' will be leaders and will be able to carry us to something better than squeaking into the playoffs... If Klefbom or Marincin's don't develop into those top 4 d-men we think they are - then we make a big splash in the FA market... Otherwise - stay the course...

Klefbom,Musil,Gernat,Murray....all 3-5 yrs away. Will Taylor Hall still even be an Oiler by then?

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#22 michael
March 21 2012, 12:56PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Not just the forwards need to pay the price the hole team does. They should be hitting guys so hard that even the coach is sore after the game.

Absolutely correct. Thats what scares me when we hear talk about about drafting Yakupov. I would rather the Oilers look at Griffin Rheinhart. Or at Grigorenlo or Galchenyuk. Eager has not been a fit. Belanger is soft on the man. Jones is kinda tough. Hordichuk? The Oilers need to resign Petrell and add Hartsy to the lineup next year.I would look at Penner as a 3rd line winger with Horcoff and Smyth. If the Oilers could I would look at drafting a left winger with size and toughness. Or baring that talk to Columbus and trade for Ryan Johansen for our 1st pick this year. Size and toughness.

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#23 Dan the Man
March 21 2012, 01:46PM
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When LT is done with this series it would be fantastic if someone could forward all of the articles to the Oilers.

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#24 D-Man
March 21 2012, 01:53PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Klefbom,Musil,Gernat,Murray....all 3-5 yrs away. Will Taylor Hall still even be an Oiler by then?

I think you're underestimating Klefbom and Marincin... You're right that they'll be a stretch to make the big club next year - but considering Klefbom's play at the WHJC and Marincin's play in the WHL - I'd expect both to crack the AHL lineup next year... You also forget that Whitney will be healthier next year, leaving our top four as Whitney, Petry, Smid and Schultz... I know - not something that puts fear in the opponent, but when healthy a better top four than we had this time last year...

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#25 Dog Train
March 21 2012, 04:02PM
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I think the last two options are the most intriguing. I am starting to believe that we do not need to shoot for the stars but that we simply need a few more NHL dmen. Who is the #1 guy in Vancouver? How about the Rangers? They have had success with a deep D corps with a nice blend of puck moving and defensive dmen. Smid and Petry have played against the top guys for other teams all season and more than held their own. With how much money will likely need to be tied up to our forwards in the future, I think that spreading the wealth on the backend is the way to go. Would like to see another right handed shot brought in but Sekera and Garrison certainly would be quality NHL dmen that could be realistically acquired.

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#26 knee deep in it
March 21 2012, 04:20PM
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Luke Schenn seems to be the odd man out in Toronto. He is geting #6 ice time under new coach Carlyle.

It was Gregor who said the stat he values the most is ice time as that is a reflection of what the coach thinks of the player.

Lowetide, could you do an advanced stat look at Schenn because he might be in play this summer?

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#27 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 21 2012, 04:22PM
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D-Man wrote:

I think you're underestimating Klefbom and Marincin... You're right that they'll be a stretch to make the big club next year - but considering Klefbom's play at the WHJC and Marincin's play in the WHL - I'd expect both to crack the AHL lineup next year... You also forget that Whitney will be healthier next year, leaving our top four as Whitney, Petry, Smid and Schultz... I know - not something that puts fear in the opponent, but when healthy a better top four than we had this time last year...

I may be guilty of that but you may also be guilty of underestimating Webers impact on this lineup as well.

As long as it happens in the next 12 months. However the Oilers choose to proceed, he's worth the assets now, or later. He'll never be allowed to walk for free from Nashville.

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#28 bazmagoo
March 22 2012, 12:42AM
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knee deep in it wrote:

Luke Schenn seems to be the odd man out in Toronto. He is geting #6 ice time under new coach Carlyle.

It was Gregor who said the stat he values the most is ice time as that is a reflection of what the coach thinks of the player.

Lowetide, could you do an advanced stat look at Schenn because he might be in play this summer?

Personally I'd love it if the Oilers made a play for Schenn. The kid is a big, right handed shot, only plus d-man on the Squeafs, and if he's out of favour at 22 years then he's perfect for a change of scenery!

If the Oilers finish with the 2nd overall pick, the Leafs the 4th, and a team at 3rd who doesn't need defencemen (Montreal probably) I'd propose the following:

Oil 2nd overall pick & Teddy Peckham (another young defenceman who might benefit from a change in scenery) to Toronto for the 4th overall pick and Luke Schenn.

This isn't too far fetched as Toronto is falling fast and the pressure is mounting on Burke to right the ship. He's always lacked a big #1 centre, so maybe Grigorenko is that guy.

With the 4th pick the Oil could draft whoever the team feels is the best overall defenceman (probably Murray it seems). This would make our defence shape up as:

Whitney - Schultz

Smid - Petry

Murray - Schenn

Sutton - Potter

That I think could help us turn the corner in my opinion. One can only hope!

PS - Love the series on defencemen Lowetide, great job keep it up!

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#29 Alan Hull
March 22 2012, 05:54AM
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@bazmagoo

Trading down in the draft from a top 3 pick and only coming away with Schenn is underutilizing that asset. The should be using that pick to target the likes of Eman-Larsson, Carlson or Fowler IMO.

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#30 bazmagoo
March 22 2012, 10:29AM
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@Alan Hull

Fair point, if we can do better then we absolutely should!

But remember, Schenn is a 5th overall pick and hasn't reached his potential yet. Defencemen often take longer to develop, this is why I think it could potentially be a great deal for the Oil.

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