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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Andrej Sekera sidelined indefinitely with achilles injury

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.

THE WRAP…

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

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2015-16 Edmonton Oilers NHL 81 6 24 30 12 -15
2016-17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 80 8 27 35 18 14 11 1 2 3 2
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 36 0 8 8 6 -15
NHL Totals 683 45 187 232 172 19 2 2 4 13

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Verified Twitter Account, 8/14/2018 – 3:30 pm MST

    • Hemmercules

      I wouldn’t hold by breath on that happening. If klef manages to play the majority of the season I will be surprised. I like the guy but he’s a bandaid. The d produces very little offence as is so losing sekera will hurt. I hope a young player emerges and they don’t have to do anything. Knee jerk trades now will probably only set them back again.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    F*ck. Well now there is a spot up for grabs question is who will fill it. Benning can fill the spot, but effectively? I dont think so, there are times Benning leaves a lot to be desired in his own end.

    • HockeyYoda

      Totally agree. I also found Benning squandered too many grade A scoring chances with a poor shot or just missing the net by a mile. I actually liked Bear’s game more than Benning at the end of the season. But Bear still needs to work on his foot speed to stay the league.

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        I liked Bear’s game too. When Benning was resigned, I was surprised at the dollar amount. I think Benning was overpaid. Bear while he had some challenges in his own end, I liked his breakouts, good clean first pass, great shot from the point. While Bear does need some seasoning to work on things in his end, I see Bear with making the team next year if the AHL coaches work with Bear on thing in his own end. That said Benning has been with the Oil for how long and there are still shortcomings in his own end and up the ice. If I had a choice btwn Benning and Bear I would take Bear.

  • KMA

    Unfortunate for Andrej. Also unfortunate for the team because whenever he returns Andrej will never be the same and he is on the downside of his career. That saying about never having enough NHL defensemen is so true.

  • Serious Gord

    Unless chia can pull a rabbit out of a hat and find a 2 or 3 dman on the market the chances of the oil getting to the playoffs falls to well below 50% – say 30:70.

    One has to assume he’s out for most of the season and that if he does return it will be at a greatly diminished capacity for the balance.

    Very likely another season of McD squandered…

  • Opi

    How long has Chia known about Sekera’s injury?

    Why hasn’t Chia ALREADY replaced him BEFORE it became public knowledge & he is forced to deal from a position of weakness once again … ?

    • The Real SlimBrodie

      Why not trade for Griffin Reinhardt…again. lol. But seriously this sucks seeing any player go through injuries like this at the end of their career. I hope he can recover and continue to be healthy. I dont wish any player to end his career this way. Best of luck Oilers.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Late February if he returns at all this season. But most likely his NHL career is probably done given his age. Too bad. Love Sekera. Sufferin Sekera! Look at him go Herc, look at him go.

  • ponokanocker

    To me, the biggest difference between 2016/2017 season & 2017/2018 season was Sekera. Sekera was our best D in 2016/2017. This is terrible news. Hopefully another lost season will cost Chia his job.

  • Bills Bills

    Well here is the TSN turning point for PC and will define him as the Oilers GM. I am sure he is having a groundhog day moment right now. He seriously needs to pull a rabbit out of this as betting on who he has and failing will sink his career.

    I am not a cap guru but I believe players on LTIR still count against the cap for the start of the season. If that is the case, for PC to do something he has to do a roster trade or otherwise dump salary.

  • camdog

    Terrible news both for Sekera and Oilers, but not really unexpected. When they signed him to that contract, my first extinct was that he was going to end up like Andrew Ference, same build, with a history of injuries. For the Oilers to have any success next year their remaining d-men need to be healthy. That’s not likely, they need an additional d-man.

    • Bills Bills

      How is it even close to the Ference signing? Sekera was 29 and Ference was 34. Your instincts are BS, hope you don’t need shoulder surgery from trying to pat your own back.

  • ROILYDoGG$

    Toby Enstrom 33-years old -43 games and wait for it … 6 points. HARD NO

    Duncan Siemins? 700k maybe or PTO?
    I would rather offer a 2nd for Justin Faulk and hope they are desperate to give him away.
    Try need to sign Nurse with the Extra money, maybe the only good thing from this.
    Long shot ?
    Next years 1st and Caleb jones , Benning for Karlson ?