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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Oilers Prospect Update: Condors swooping into the mix


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 8 8 6 -15
2018-19 Edmonton Oilers NHL 24 4 4 6 3
2018-19 Bakersfield Condors AHL 5 2 2 2 6
NHL Totals 707 45 191 236 178 19 2 2 4 13


  • 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

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mitch64

    Surprising sure, but with the youth we have in bear, jones and our last 2 fist picks have alot of their own prospects close to the show but if they had any hunches on under valued free agents that could make a impact on the ice for cheap. A couple breakout starts for some roleplayers and the oil can get to December in a good spot all we needed was 1 more guy giving us what chaisson did

  • RaimoSummanenLives!

    Sekera can still play, but he’s expensive and frequently injured. The Oilers have a boatload of LHD in their system. This opens up a spot for some like Caleb Jones, who’s played a couple full seasons in the AHL + spent time with the Oilers – not really a raw rookie.

    If Holland had kept Sekera, and Sekera got hurt, the same people complaining about the buyout would complain about the “Chiarelli-like” move of keeping an oft-injured player!

  • Goaltender Interference

    Standing alone I sure don’t like this move. However I guess I’ll reserve final judgement until I see what Holland does in free agency.

    If rumours are true and Smith is hopping on the Oilers train then I’m cautiously optimistic. But a lot will depend on how much the contract is for and for how much term.

  • ed from edmonton

    So at 2M plus 2M in performance bonuses the Oil can puch any performance bonuses earned to next year. They could spend up to 10M upgrading forwards. Their forward target may have moved up a notch.

      • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • HOCKEY83

    Veteran G Smith will join Oilers

    “Veteran goaltender Mike Smith has chosen to play with the Edmonton Oilers, according to TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli.”

    • ed from edmonton

      I am very disappointed with the as a 38 year old on the down side of his career inspires no confidence in the goaltenders. The only silver lining is that it should allow a couple of M more to spend on forwards vs say a signing of Mazurek or Varlamov. Oil forward adds will be more impactful than expected a few hours ago. Could be as much a 10M worth of forwards coming in.

  • 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

  • Ko-D

    Oilers are better off keeping Sekera this year and looking at buying him out next year. Plus he is still a useful NHL player!! Cap penalty goes way too far into the future just to overpay washed up Smith and Perry for a season or two.

  • 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.