Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers place Andrej Sekera on waivers for purpose of buyout

News came out this morning on social media that the Edmonton Oilers have placed defenceman Andrej Sekera on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.

Sekera is signed for two more seasons at a $5.5-million cap hit. A buyout will carry a cap penalty over the next four seasons.

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2019-20 $3,000,000 $2,500,000
2020-21 $3,000,000 $2,500,000
2021-22 -$1,500,000 $1,500,000
2022-23 -$1,500,000 $1,500,000


Buying out Sekera immediately opens $3 million in cap space. The Oilers must have plans in free agency as they now have a little over $12 million to play with according to PuckPedia. Sekera is coming off another injury-plagued season after two significant injuries in back-to-back seasons.

Sekera was one of the Oilers’ best defencemen in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Unfortunately, an injury in the playoffs against Anaheim held him to just 60 games over the past two seasons. The Oilers have a somewhat crowded left side on defence with Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. A younger player like Caleb Jones now has a clearer path to an NHL spot.

The Oilers already have money dedicated to the buyouts of Benoit Pouliot and Eric Gryba, making another buyout less than ideal, however, it does afford Ken Holland and co more freedom to address the roster this summer. Gryba’s buyout ends after next season, while Pouliot’s extends to 2021.

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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 24 0 4 4 6 3
2018-19 Bakersfield Condors AHL 5 0 2 2 2 6
NHL Totals 707 45 191 236 178 19 2 2 4 13


  • Spydyr

    They better replace him. The last two season when Reggie was injured Chia failed to replace him and the results of that mistake was shown in the teams record. Perhaps they feel Jones is ready to step in. We should have a better idea tomorrow.

    • OilerForLife

      They’ll replace him with somebody from the farm and/or Persson. Maybe they’ll tag team a spot with Waiver free prospects from the farm, and maybe Jones or Bear are ready. They need cap room to sign hopefully Connolly, Chaisson and/or Mrázek, because they absolutely need decent goaltending and goal scoring right winger or two. Really looking forward to tomorrow.

      • MrBung

        No. More dead cap space added to the books. 5.3 Million in dead cap space on the books for next season.

        I am a disgruntled Oilers fan that is watching the countdown to McDavid requesting a trade after a couple more seasons of missing the playoffs.

        • Dallas Eakins Hair

          Wait didnt you say the last game btwn the Oilers and Lamers that the Lamers were going to destroy the Oilers..yea about that.

          Hey good news though the Lamers are looking for some fans, apparently lots of openings after everyone jumped off the Lamer bus after another first round exit.

  • Gravis82

    This is stupid. Sekera is a 5.5 million dollar defense man and he is healthy. We at least need another 5.5 million dollar defenseman to replace him. However with the buyout there is a cost of 3 million. So we are looking for a 8.5 million of impact in a d-man for 5.5 million dollars during free agency when everyone gets overpaid?! Do not like. Just build slowly now and let contracts run out. You are going to have to sign nuge soon and you have buyouts on the books. They are obviously doing the same thing all over again, there is pressure to make the playoffs. You DO NOT Make or not make the playoffs in free agency. You do that over 10 year at the draft. You make or break a final 4 appearance of an already capable teams because of good FA signings. TO compliment what you were not able to find at the draft. We are not there yet, I am sorry Katz, but this will not work.

      • Gravis82

        sekera was the reason we lost in 2017, his injury. He has been a stud on the blueline when he is healthy. Always has been. The only reason he has not played well is because he was injured or recovering. This is not a head scratcher, he is a great player. Someone will claim him for sure.

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        I dont get this either, but my guess this isn’t so much about Sekera’s ability but more about the dollar factor in getting the needed cap space for other moves. If you lok at when he came back after not playting for ages , Sekera moved the puck pretty well and when he was paired with Benning calmed Benning down and Benning made far less mistakes with the puck. Sekera also moves the puck well and he is pretty good on the back end in the PP which were two of Sekera’s strong points.

        I would think with Sekera moved out it still doesnt leave a lot of cap space free, so there has to be another move to clear some more cap space coming. Question is who is going to get moved next and who is coming to the Oilers.

  • McRaj

    Where are all the Holland lovers now? More Dead Space in future years. How is this team so damn dumb. Incompetent Management trend continues. Choosing Russ over Sekera? Really. Wow just wow. You could have traded Kris Russell, instead they choose to buy-out Sekera. I’ll fight someone if they want to defend Holland. He is more of the same, a past his best before dare, think’s hes the smartest man in the room GM.

    • Gravis82

      They had better trade Russell as well, or yes, we have the same issue. You have to simply fire them all. This was the last do over. This move, has desperation to make the playoffs now written all over it. This is bad because it comes at a price or long term assett management. We just threw a solid 3rd line center out the window for the next 2 seasons with the buyout hit. Are we planning to sign a 5.5 million dollar player who has the impact of 8.5 million and can play 2 positions?

        • MrBung

          It is. Especially when it comes to the Oilers which have missed the playoffs the last 12 of 13 seasons. And having gone through how many GM’s and coaches already…that human nature will be on full display and amplified until this sh*t show is turned around and that team is no longer the laughingstock of the leauge.

          • HOCKEY83

            Didn’t the Flames make it to the second round in 2015? But ya both Alberta teams have been massive losers for a long long long time that’s for sure. Would be nice to actually get a rivalry back on the ice rather than just an internet name calling feud. Certainly wins an award for most lame hockey rivalry in the NHL really.

    • Dr.Drai29

      Russel is healthy , and Russel blocks a lot of shots. He’s the reason why nurse keeps improving as well. Sekera is a bum who is always injured. Not sure how this doesn’t make sense to people. Why pay someone 5.5 mil who plays less than half a season? Holland most likely has bigger plans wait it out before you cry and complain about it

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        Well Russell salary also goes on the slide downwards in scale, but I dont know if the Oilers will hang on to Russell, with over just 11 mil in cap space there are a lot of holes that still need ton be filled and not a lot o money to work with, there has to be a couple more moves coming

    • Ron Burgundyz

      Same old same old on ON I see. How about we wait a week and see what shakes out before firing one of the best GMs in history for one isolated move?

      In other words, let’s fight. Bike racks at noon.

    • NoBuBlackOPS

      I’m not a fan of the move but is easy to see why it was done. Hard to pay Sekera 5.5mil a season to play on the third pairing. Just because teams were interested in Russel doesn’t mean a trade could of be worked out given his partial no movement clause. As for the dead cap space in years 3-4 I believe the new US TV deal that has yet to be negotiated will be kicking in raising the cap a large amount. Offsetting the cap penalty somewhat. Also opens a spot in the top 7 for Dmen to give bear jones leggason and Pearson a look in the NHL. We need to know what these prospects can do in the NHL while still on there ELC.

    • Tonya Harding Compete Level

      Again we see these head scratching moves where everyone but the Oilers knows they are the wrong moves. Idiotic. The cycle continues. So frustrating. Need puck moving defensemen? Buy out one of your puck moving defensemen and most solid veterans!

    • Kenny The Rat

      In Oct when Sek gets hurt everyone would ask why he is still on the team. The guy can’t stay healthy. Need to make room for young guys, and use the money elsewhere.

      • McRaj

        Can’t stay healthy? You mean when he had a freak injury last off-season? And when he patrolls another team’s blue-line playing top 4 minutes and gets 25-30 points, will you say you were wrong? I don’t think you will. I think you will say “I knew it was a bad move buying him out”. Let’s keep the good old western canadian shot-blocking cowboy over Russell. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Pathetic Fans. Just as bad as the media in this city. You Fans are the problem. Just like the media, you will jump on Holland in 3 years but will ride him right now since he is the shiny new toy.

        • He’s played 60 games with 12 points(none goals) in the last 2 years. This is the problem with some fans, they become soo attached to players they let it cloud their reason. He’s injury-prone and washed up and is a 3rd line defensemen at most, that’s a damn fact. He did soo much for our young D-men and was an outstanding person but changes had to he made.

    • Jerri Kurli

      There are two absolutely untraceable players on this team and they are Andrej Sekera and Milan Lucic. Sekera is a 5/6 defenseman at best now (yes he was a Second pairing). He’s on the back nine of his career. He’s slower, less agile due to his injuries. He came back looking okay last year, but came back as the worst defenseman on the team the injury prior to that. What will the next injury bring? He’s the highest paid defenseman on the team and I would pick him (at this stage) probably last out of our defenseman. The others can all stay healthy, yes he moves the puck better than Russel, but he sure doesn’t go where Russel will go. Russell almost blocks more shots than our goalies do. This completely makes sense. I agree he should probably be replaced, but by an affordable 5/6 defenseman on a reasonable contract.

    • KootenayDan

      Apparently few agree with your comment. Trade Russell to who? tomorrow is the day Holland needs to focus on and needed the cap room. I liked Reg but not at that price time for new blood from internal for the blueline.

      • NickL89

        I agree Dan. If there was interest out there for Russel (or Sekera) I’m sure we’d be reading about a trade right now. A buyout is a last resort and I don’t believe this would have been done on a whim.

    • Ken McTippett

      I’m gonna wait to see who Holland signs in free agency before I pass judgement. And even then, I will wait until the Oilers are well into the season to really pass judgement. Cap space is an issue for the Oilers. They needed to free up space, and obviously nobody was interested in trading with the Oilers, so they did this. Lots of whining from a fanbase that has been screaming for lineup changes. Well, this will do it.

  • Abagofpucks

    I believe this will be good for the oilers and im sure there will be more like russell getting a new address. They could even buyout gags, send jesse back to europe or put him in a trade deal and they could still have a plan for benning in some kinda trade. Who knows what can happen but it should be interesting and i’m sure your all waiting for victory or disaster, but i think they just might pull something off. HAHAHAHA

  • chezzychez

    This is what happens when you inherit an absolute mess of a cap situation. We’ll be feeling the effects of chia for years to come. Unfortunate move, but it’s obvious Kenny couldn’t trade these contracts without hurting the team more. Let’s hope he signs a couple of decent contracts tomorrow. I’m worried this buyout means we’ll over pay for Mrazek and Connolly…

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      According to Ryan Rishaug in one of his tweets he stated that Connolly will not be coming to the Oilers. My guess is Connolly is looking for a higher dollar contract and term and KH wasnt willing to go there

  • blobbo

    Sekera has been a trooper. He was given the same contract as Petry at the time. He was the older of the two and the final years of the contract were always going to be in question. That was before his injuries.

    I hate to see him go because he did everything asked of him and more. He is now 33 years old, however, and has a history of injury.

    Holland has no emotional attachment to any player on this team. He was hired to make decisions. He just made one.

  • Kevwan

    I’m not a fan of this move but then again I don’t like buyouts period. I’d have preferred a trade of Russell tomorrow, after his bonus was paid ( retain salary if necessary.) If it had to be a buyout I felt Sekera was the “best” player among the buyout candidates so someone else.

    What we don’t know (and may never) is what Holland had for options. Maybe no one wanted Russell. Maybe he’e eyeing up a better FA (Nyquist)
    We shouldn’t be to judgemental – we don’t know the whole story.

    What we don’t know

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I am goijng to guess they tried to find a trade partner for Sekera to move his salary but teams were worried about age, and term, and his injuries the last couple years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sekera get picked up on a budget 1 year deal by some team, I’m sure Sekera still wants to play

  • Justino

    I dont mind this. Sure Sekera would be great on the third pairing to help with Benning and mentor some of the up and coming D but at the same time you have to make some space on D to have them come up. 5.5mil on a third pair is costly and we do need a better winger next season. I wouldn’t even mind sending out Russell as well and letting Lagesson, Bear, Persson and Jones to battle for the open positions. Eventually we’re gonna have to see what these guys got if we have more depth coming in the years to follow.

  • Dark Knight Returns

    Stop crying. You guys whine like 7 year old girls.
    1) it’s not like Sekera is Karlsson, give it a break, he is a 5/6 d on any decent team.
    3) 3 mill go a long way when we need to get a goalie and wingers.
    4) 34 years old in a fully stacked left D depth chart….
    5) obviously the Oilers aren’t done yet.

    Go enjoy the long weekend and stop whining.

    • Leichs

      Thank you! Lol these guys like Spydyr and others acting like we just traded McD for picks.. We lost a 33 year old injury plagued dman who has barely played in two years. We have multiple dmen that can step in and replace him and it makes some space for other moves. He’s been here for like 4 years and we’ve made the playoffs once.

    • Spydyr

      I’m about to go golfing but caring about your team, a team that has made way more bad moves then good moves for decades now then questioning yet another seeming strange move is not “whining”. It is called being a knowledgeable fan through some very difficult times.

      The summer has just begun we can revisit if this was a good or bad move in late September.

  • dolenator

    Sad to see him go but undertand why it happened. The fact they waited for today to do it means they obviously tried to shed cap through other means but were unsuccessful. In the end we loose a vet d who was going to be playing the 3rd pairing unless there was a injury and hopefully Jones can fill his shoes. I would of rather ran him for half a year and tried to move him closer to the deadline but Holland obviously though he needed the cap space now.

  • The Ghost of Alex Plante

    I don’t get this, buyouts are very rarely the way to go. Ya it’s great that they save 3 million, but they need to replace him with someone. Any semi competent replacement is 2.5 million anyways. Is the 0.5 million in savings really worth the cap penalties in years 3&4 of the buyout?

    Would have rathered they traded Russell for literally nothing to be honest. At least that way they would have gotten more cap savings and not had any dead cap space to deal with in the future.

    • NoBuBlackOPS

      Or you play of the prospects like jones. Who looked very good on the third pairing last season. His cap hit is under a million. Unless you think 5.5 million on the third pairing is a good use of cap space.

      • The Ghost of Alex Plante

        So the plan is to rely on young players to be ready then? They’ve tried that plenty of times already, hasn’t ever worked before, so I bet it’ll work out this time right?

        • So wheres the line? Do we just wait till they’re all 25 before we let them play full time? Letting Jones play 3rd pairing minutes where he’s proven he can succeed is much different then forcing him in as the 1st RHD

          • The Ghost of Alex Plante

            If prospects force their way into the lineup then that’s great. The problem is when they are pencilled into the starting lineup right from the get go. This buyout suggests that this is exactly what they are going to do.

            If they are going to sign another veteran guy for the bottom pair so Jones actually has to win a job in camp instead of being gifted one, then this makes no financial sense.

        • KootenayDan

          There are prospects who have paid their dues and have developed in the minors they have earned the right to get a promotion. This is a perfect scenario in a cap world.

    • MrBung

      Desperation move. And indication fixing this mess is going to take several seasons at least …. if even that is enough. I don’t think McDavid has the patience to prop up this outfit. Guy wants to win.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      Wrong… Then you have no Russell and still pay a 6th D-man 5.5mil. This way we still have a functional D-man. The ideal move would’ve been a trade with salary retained so we get something out of it. But if that was available, Sekera wouldn’t have been bought out.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    It sucks to lose him, because when he was healthy, he was effective. The only, ONLY, reason I can defend this is because Holland believes he can address all the needs of the team with the cap space he now has. It’ll be interesting to see what he does tomorrow, but if he sits on his hands and does nothing, then he’s just lost his mind completely.

  • Lowe enuf

    I liked Sekera as a player. I didn’t love the cap hit. I believe that KH knows what he is doing. I think for the first time in over a decade there is someone in charge who has a plan. I for one am interested in seeing where we go from here.

  • RJ

    Jones, Bear, Lagesson, Persson, Samorukov, Bouchard….further down the road Broberg.

    The first three have to pass waivers after next season, which means you need to at least have a good idea what you have for next off-season. The easiest way to do that is to move at least one from the crowded blueline.

    I think retaining half the salary and trading him would have been preferable, but with a reduced cap maybe he wasn’t worth the risk for the next two seasons.

    Russell should be next to go as soon as he’s paid his July 1 bonus.

    And for those who dislike this post, answer me this; did you really expect this blueline to go into next season unchanged again?

    • The Ghost of Alex Plante

      You’re right, going into next season with the same defense wasn’t the answer, but neither is this. You still have to replace Sekera with someone. Unless you want to rely on prospects being ready yet again, a reasonable 3rd pairing defender is what? 2-3 million anyways? So you’re not actually saving any money by buying him out. All you’re doing is creating dead cap space in years 3&4 of the buyout.

  • cityofchampions

    This isn’t the ideal move, but I assume Holland has tried to trade him and/or Russell first and just wasn’t getting much love back (can’t imagine there is much market for an aging, injury-prone, overpaid Dman in this restricted cap environment, even though Sekera can still play and will likely be loved by the team that takes him as a value-deal in Free-agency).

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Unless Varlamov doesnt find a taker for his services, I dont see him coming to the Oilers if he is looking for over 3 mil and up. I dont see the Oil wanting to pay a backup that kind of money even if he is a 1b. they just dont have the cap space, I look for them to maybe look at someone who got bought out or someone with something to prove. Varlamov I believe is looking for money close to what he was making and term in a deal

      • ed from edmonton

        I think the Oil would be an ideal spot for Varlamov on a one year “show me deal”. If he thinks he can be a starter and is right, he will certainly quickly move ahead of Koski. One good year as a starter and his payday will come.

  • Obcfan

    As many others have said I think we have to wait and see what happens with other moves before judging this one.

    I can see both sides in that you want to start bringing up your prospects but at the same time I still believe Sekera is 2nd pairing capable and I absolutely despise buyouts. It’s also a fact that we have a lot of “prospect” depth and not a lot of “NHL” depth. So losing Sekera and replacing him with a prospect takes away an NHLer from the pool on the hopes and dreams that one of the prospects will handle a full season. Hmmmmm, have we seen that movie before?

    I still think patience would be better because I don’t believe trying to rush to make playoffs will work out well. That said I sure understand the desire to improve the team in a hurry. But we’ve seen Pistol Pete try to rapidly improve a team and know how that worked out

  • Violentgent13

    Daddy, chill.

    Aged, injured d-man gone. I’m fine with this and you gotta be pretty dense to think Holland didn’t try some kind of trade before making this decision.
    Kris Russell is healthy and played 90 more games than Sekera. Lay off Russell just because Chia gave him a ridiculous contract.

  • Heschultzhescores

    This is a small gamble. In truth, Sekera has already not been on the team for the past 2 years…this just makes him officially gone. Is anyone confident he will not get injured again? I’m not. I think he is still arguably our best D-man when healthy. I understand the move. It is a mistake if he remains healthy the next few yrs, that is the gamble. Let’s see how it pans out. I honestly don’t think it’s a tragedy either way. Let Holland make his moves, and judge in a couple yrs. This is not an easy fix.

  • The Whispererer

    The rumour is that the Oilers need the $3 million savings to sign Corey Perry.
    Also, Rishaug says Connolly not coming here so the rumour makes sense.

  • The Rookie

    The easy facts are this. Klefbom and Nurse are the bonafide #1 and 2 lefties on this team. Sekera was great in the second pairing before the injuries but in the last 2 years Nurse has proven he can handle that spot. 3rd pair options can be had by much cheaper options. The right side is where the improvements need to be made. Russel is not an ideal 2nd pair righty. He is a place holder. Ideally he would be your 3rd lefty and PK specialist but $4M makes him slightly overpaid, but still manageable in a lack of option scenario. I still believe Stralman can be had at $2.25 for a cpl of seasons. Better suited to play 2R this season, and cheap enough to move down the depth chart as the next wave of prospects move up. I believe if they can sign Stralman, Russel will then be traded.


    That’s a solid start with guys playing their proper side and not over their head. That leaves the entire $12M to help at the front end.

  • ed from edmonton

    The Oil had to move at least one Dman to allow them to bolster the forwards. Ideally a trade of some kind, but I understand that trading Sekera or Russell is highly speculative. Both have full NMC until tomorrow then modified. I don’t see how Holland could get into a serious trade talk when you don’t even know if a team is on the modified trade list. Perhaps Holland could have approached tomorrow assuming he will be able to dump some Dsalary later and spent over the cap. But then he would have put himself in a even tougher position as team would then know he must dump a contract and you might be forced into a Marleau situation.

    Let’s not make Sekera out for more than he is. A 34 year old, 3rd pairing Dman coming of two years of major leg issues blocking the way for younger cheaper players.

    • madjam

      He is past his prime and played tentative ever since his return back in lineup . Should not be that hard to replace from what I have seen of him last 2 seasons , and not very physical anymore either . Suspect they tried other avenues to move him but ended up in deadends – thus he goes on waivers .