The Edmonton Oilers just tweeted out some horrible news that Andrej Sekera will be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles.
After missing the majority of the 2017-18 season, the injury nightmares continue for Andrej Sekera as he’s set to miss another significant chunk of time to recover from what seems to be a torn Achilles. According to the Oilers, Sekera suffered the injury while training over in Europe and, while there is no timeline available for his return, one would imagine that this is something that will drag on for months.
Last season, Edmonton’s blueline went into flux without Sekera as many players were forced to fight above their weight class. Initially, Oscar Klefbom took over the number one role that Sekera had occupied in 2016-17, but he struggled with injury problems of his own, and Darnell Nurse was forced to step up. Now that we know Sekera will be on the shelf for an extended period of time, it will be interesting to see how the Oilers fill the void left by their most experienced defenceman.
When the Oilers originally signed Sekera to a six-year, $33-million contract back in 2015, he was brought in to help solidify the team’s defence, something he did reasonably well in his first two seasons. Over those first 161 games, Sekera put up 65 points (14G, 51A) with a relative Corsi that was 2.26 per cent higher than of his teammates and his expected Goals For relative to his team was 4.54 per cent. Of course, those numbers came before the two devasting injuries Sekera has had suffered in the last year and a half which makes you wonder if rebounding is even an option for the 32-year-old defender.
On the bright side, if there is one, this injury will open up some cap space with Sekera being added to the LTIR. What they do with that space, if anything at all, will certainly be an interesting storyline as we move forward towards the season. Maybe this means the Oilers look for a stopgap, or maybe it means that they now have enough space to sign Darnell Nurse to a long-term contract, but that’s all just me guessing at this point. Obviously, this news is both surprising and upsetting as the Oilers get another swift kick to the pills before even playing a single game.
It goes without saying that it’s been a nightmarish couple of summers for Andrej Sekera and his place within the organization going forward will be an intriguing storyline to follow as we move forward. Obviously, there is a lot about Sekera’s current injury that we don’t know yet, but I don’t think it’s a reach to say that his career with the Oilers is in major jeopardy. Considering the timeline on this news and the lack of available options, the Oilers will have to scramble to find a suitable replacement for the defenceman if that is even the plan at all. At the end of the day, losing Sekera is a huge blow no matter how you slice it and the Oilers are starting a step behind the eight ball and the season is still a month and a half away. Is this injury insurmountable, no? But it’s definitely a hardship that no one needed right now and that’s a tough pill to swallow. That said, there is still time to make something happens so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how things shake out.
Bad news for Jack Hughes? I keed, I keed. What do you guys think.
SEKERA’S OILERS CAREER SO FAR
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Verified Twitter Account, 8/14/2018 – 3:30 pm MST