Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Andrej Sekera assigned to Bakersfield for conditioning stint

According to the Oilers’ official Twitter account, the organization has assigned Andrej Sekera to the Bakersfield Condors for a conditioning stint. 

After tearing his Achilles tendon before training camp started, no one was sure what was to come from the 32-year-old defenceman. If I’m being honest, I was actually expecting to make it through the full season without even seeing him. I mean, the guy has been through a lot, ya know? As I’m sure you all remember, Sekera suffered an ACL injury in the playoffs against the Ducks in 2017 and never really looked the same when he came back to the lineup in January of last year. Tack on an Achilles injury in the months that followed and you’ve got the makings of a long walk down the short pier to a bad time.

Obviously, Sekera’s return would be a welcome sight for a porous Oilers’ defensive core that has been on the hook for 171 goals this season, the fourth-highest total in the NHL I should add, but you have to wonder how effective he’ll be after missing 50+ games. Yes, the man can move the puck more effectively than any of the options the Oilers have on their back end right now, but how will his robotic legs hold up? How has the ACL to Achilles injuries affected his mobility? The good news is that we’re about to find out the answer to some of those questions. Looking at the Condors schedule, they play five games over the next 12 games and I really hope that the Oilers choose to keep Reggie down there for all of them. To me, there’s no reason to try and rush him back given the time he’s missed and if it takes a few extra days to get his fitness up to par then so be it.

Of course, we haven’t even touched on the cap implications that his activation will cause. The Oilers are going to need to clear millions in cap space to fit him back on the roster and I will be fascinated to see how this plays out. The obvious move would be a Cam Talbot trade in addition to a few demotions to Bakersfield, but who the hell knows what will actually happen — your guess is as good as mine. All I know for sure is that I’ll be buckling my seatbelt and asking for our McSaviour to help us. Regardless of what needs to happen to make the money work, these next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting for the Oilers and their fans. What do you guys think?

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Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP 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
2018-19 Edmonton Oilers* NHL Statistics Unavailable
NHL Totals 683 45 187 232 172 19 2 2 4 13

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 2/4/2019 – 3:31 pm MT

      • McHitch

        This comment section is for Flames fans who pretend to be Oilers fans.

        Literally 50-80 comments per article on how bad we are and how there is no hope.

        Bright side for the real fans.

        Coyotes, Ducks and Canucks lost tonight. Oilers win tomorrow we are one point out with Klefbom returning soon.

          • McHitch

            Its a fact. You deny it likes its not true.

            We have stayed in the race despite losing half our top 3 D for large parts of the season, wingers who have failed miserbly and goaltending that has gone cold for two months.

            We are in thick of a playoff race. I dont see any of the teams in front of taking advantage, at least we have the best player in the world.

            We have a shot, try to enjoy it, ultimately thats what being a fan is about.

        • Anton CP

          You are a vet on this site, I remembered seeing you on this site for so many years and “Oilers domination to follow” for…sigh.

          I mean, it is hard to follow the Oilers for countless years of failures. I started following the Oilers after the glory days so I have yet to witness the greatness of the Oilers. I was absolutely annoyed when everyone can’t stop criticize Tom Poti after he signed a big contract until the Oilers have to trade him because of all the scrutiny from everywhere.

          You know, the Oilers have not ever tried to rebuild. Every single year that from top of the ownership all the way down to every fans always believed that the team will “do something”. The only time that the Oilers have been (sort of) trying to rebuild was only during the lockout season then they fired both GM and coach and the short era of MacT with Eakins quickly destroyed the new foundation. The Oilers fans have such a short attention span since the debacle of today’s Oilers is not just Chiarelli, MacT started the whole thing.

          • McHitch

            I remember not being able to sleep in excitement of watching Cujo in the playoffs.

            I remember jumping up and down when Marchant and the Oilers came back against the Stars.

            I couldnt believe the brilliany coaching of MacT when we trapped the Wings and Rollie stole the show.

            Its sad for me to see what this site and Oiler “fans” have become.

            We used to believe when no one would. We used to be loyal and positive until the end.

            If Capitals and Oilers win tomorrow we will be one point out with a game in hand. We have a shot, I truly wish more fans could enjoy meaningful games that are happening.

            We have experienced them much over the past decade. If we get into the playoffs anything can happen and in honesty no one deserves it more than McDavid.

  • Redbird62

    Under the CBA, the conditioning stint starts at 6 days or 3 games which ever is longer and the Oilers would need to apply to the NHL League Office for a onetime 2 game extension if they needed more time to assess him. If he can’t stand up to the riggers, he may go back onto LTIR, but once cleared to play by the Doctors after at most 5 games, he has to be back on the Oilers roster. Still not obvious to me if the cap needs to be cleared now or after the conditioning stint, but when that happens the Oilers have to get about $1.2 million removed from their cap based on Capfriendly’s info. They can accomplish at least $1 million by assigning Petrovic or Manning to the farm, and it will be more if either was assigned and got picked up on waivers. They have to move one player off the roster to make room for Sekera anyway.

    • OriginalPouzar

      Correct on all counts. There is some concern that the $1.2M they need to clear is pro-rated (so players with “full year” cap hits closer to $3M), however, Puckpedia has confirmed: “They need to clear $1.2M in AAV. It’s the current roster annual cap hit that they’ll be tightest on”.

      Its really too bad is $150K over the buryable limit of $1,050,000 so burying Manning or Petrovic isn’t quite enough.

    • ed from edmonton

      The cap compliance starts during the conditioning stint and he is considered as one of the 23 man NHL roster even though he is in the NHL. However the decision whether he is ready to play NHL games is not a medical decision, i.e. doctors don’t make that call. My understanding is that a player stays on IR “until he an fore fill his NHL duties”. That’s not a medical condition, its up to the Oilers to make that call. The Drs. can say his injuries are a healed as they will ever be, that alone does not make a NHL player.

      • OriginalPouzar

        He is being assigned to Bakersfield pursuant to Section 13.9 to determine if he’s “fit to play” – its technically not a conditioning stint and he stays on LTIR, the LTIR cushion does not disappear and he does not count towards the 23 man roster.

        Section 13.9 is for LTIR designates only.

        You are referring to a regular conditioning stint pursuant to Section 13.8 which is not currently applicable.

  • Redbird62

    Sekera’s performance was very substandard for him when he first came back last year, but he was performing better as the season came to a close. It was much to late to have a meaningful impact and Oscar had been shut down. Sekera got 1 point and was -13 in his first 20 games back. He scored 7 points and was -2 in the last 16 games. He did have a foot injury and tweaked in knee in April and missed a few games, but then he went on to have a very good World Championship in May for Slovakia where he was one of their better defenseman if not their best. He has stated that recovering from the ACL was harder on his mobility, particularly with the brace, compared to how he feels about the tendon. Time will tell. I am pulling for the guy as the Oilers have sorely missed what a healthy Sekera brought to the table.

  • Rama Lama

    Once this guy gets back to speed ………….he will stabilize things big time!! The only down side I can see is Hitch moving him around ( line blundering) until he thinks he is a forward.

    If Hitch can give him line stability he should be fine.

  • FutureGM

    The good thing is with Kbom and Nurse on the left side he can get up to speed on the third pairing until he supplants Russell on pairing two. With the way Gravel is playing I would prefer a Gravel-Russel 3rd pairing but would be OK with Russell-Benning 3rd pair too.
    Need Sekera on the PK it would seem.

  • OldOilFan

    Sek and Klef after returning: 50/50 risk

    Agree with earlier post, Sekera’s recovery from ACL surgery was likely more difficult than the [newer] achilles surgery/recovery. Good to know.

    Anyway, at 32, Sekera is not so “old” for a veteran dman, especially if you look at him in the context of the Oil’s roster and cap.

    Regardless of Seks [fairly high] salary, he’s a “proven” veteran and therefore he’s a safer GM bet to bring back, imo, than mgmt holding off and gunning for acquiring a trade-deadline high ticket dman who’s possibly UFA after this year.

    Brent Seabrooke is out there, to be had, but even if he would agree to come to Edm, which is unknown, the Hawks would probably be asking for Edm’s 1st pick and more…maybe even asking for ‘crazy more.’ Thank goodness Pistol Pete isn’t calling the trade-shots here, now 🙂

    TLDR: Bring both Sek and Klef back asap, hopefully at the same time. Let the chips fall where they may…

    I believe odds favour their return bringing an uptick in the W-L column. It won’t take much improvement to move the disastrous “W-L needle” anyway, so bring ’em back.

    • OldOilFan

      edit: bringing back Sekera is a safer bet, GM-wise, than waiting to take a trade deadline gamble on a dman who hasn’t played here before (excluding Brandon Davidson who’d be a safe bet and affordable too. I think the Hawks have in down in the AHL at the moment)

    • OriginalPouzar

      1) Seabrook was asked to waive his NMC by CHI management and he said no (not just for EDM but for everywhere); and

      2) whoa, no way CHI gets a 1st round pick – that contract is one of the worse in the NHL, rivaling Lucic’s, and has negative value.

  • ed from edmonton

    Obviously how Sekera does in the AHL is of great interest. ON really need a set of eyes in Cali to give back reports. If you need a volunteer, I’m available. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

    • OriginalPouzar

      I don’t think Bakersfield is a prime choice of place to be in California…..

      I have an AHL TV membership and have watched almost all of the Condors games this year (or parts thereof) but, as it turns out, will likely miss both games this weekend. Ironically enough, I’ll be in Cali – taking the wife to Disneyland for a quick weekend – that’s right, two 40 year olds with no kids in Disneyland – done it before – its awesome!

  • OnDaWagon

    You can hope Sekera can help. And hope Klefbom can return quickly, but before this city has any chance to ice a legitimate hockey team again, one person has to go, Darryl Katz;

    Careful what you wish for!!
    The man with the money, has brought nothing but misery (hockey related) to this city

      • OldOilFan

        Does anyone know Katz personally?

        I don’t know him, myself. So I wonder what he’s really all about where it concerns the performance of the Oil.

        Maybe he doesn’t like it any more than we do, but also he doesn’t know how to change it [any more than we do]? Just a thought.

  • goodtobelucky97

    That’s great news Sekera is back. My expectations are low, to start. He will be a big help this year…..when the Oilers are in the playoffs.
    Yup, I said it. Oilers will make the playoffs this year.

    • TKO

      good attitude, everyone else here are just bad fans who give up too easily on their team,bandwagon jumpers. of course they will make the playoffs, and to think otherwise is to make oneself unworthy of an NHL team. this is the time to show the team the support they need… make signs, buy merch, back the team with positive comments

  • TKB2677

    I had hoped that Sekera would spend the whole season on the LTIR. Not because I dislike the player, I just don’t see how he can possibly be any good this season. He got hurt in the playoffs with a MAJOR knee injury. He missed all of the offseason, camp, preseason and over half of last season. He gets most of this offseason then gets hurt again with a MAJOR injury. Missed the last and probably most critical month of the offseason, all of camp, all of the preseason and will have missed 3/4 of the season. I just don’t see how 2 weeks in the minors can make up for all that missed time. He could spend a month in the minors and I don’t think it would be enough to catch up.

    If the Oilers are lucky, he will be a mediocre 3rd pairing dman but I have my doubts.