According to Jason Gregor, Oilers defenceman Andrej Sekera will be spending another couple of games in Bakersfield to continue his conditioning stint with the Condors as he continues to rehab from a torn Achilles suffered during his offseason training.
NHL grants Sekera two more AHL games. Bakersfield plays Friday and Saturday. Edmonton will need to shed $1.2m in order to activate him and be cap compliant. Trade or sending two players to AHL are their options.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) February 14, 2019
It’s been a strange couple of years for the 32-year-old defenceman. During the Oilers playoff run of 2016-17, Sekera tore his ACL in the second round against the Ducks and was forced to miss the bulk of last season. Even when he was able to come back in January, Sekera didn’t look quite the same as it was clear the injury severely affected his mobility and foot speed. Even so, both the Oilers and their fans were looking forward to getting Sekera back for the 2018-19 season after having a full summer to get himself back into game shape. That was, of course, until we found out about his torn Achilles.
Without Sekera in the lineup, the Oilers have struggled once again to move the puck effectively out of their own zone and it’s been a waiting game to see if or when he would be able to come back. Sekera is one of the few guys on the back end that can really rip a clean first pass out of the zone and it was a quality that was sorely missed over the last few months. Personally, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Sekera miss the entire season based on his age and the run of injuries he’s gone through, and I was pleasantly surprised to see him being assigned to the Condors to get some games under his belt earlier this month. The one question I did have was whether or not three games would be enough to shake off the months of rust that have accumulated on his robotic legs.
As it turns out, the Oilers clearly felt that a couple of more games would be beneficial to the process as they applied to have the three-game conditioning stint extended to five games, something the NHL approved this morning. Looking ahead, this move buys the Oilers a little bit more time to figure out their cap situation while also giving Reggie an extra couple of days to get himself moving. Whether or not this comes too late to actually help the Oilers save their season is another question entirely, but it is nice to see them slow playing the Sekera situation for once.
SEKERA’S SEASON SO FAR
Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 2/14/2019 – 9:34 am MT