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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • ed from edmonton

    So if the mandatory wailing and whining period that follows any Oiler move or non move is over can we move to the question is what should happen to the 12ishM cap space. Priorities should be.
    1. A goalie that is more likely to be a starter than Koski (Murazek or Varlamov). Could be a high as $4M leaving 8M for forwards.
    2. A center. There has been rumors about Boyle who I am not so keen on but he would be an upgrade on Brodziak/Cave, although maybe not a big one. There are a few other centers out there, let’s say 3M for a center leaving 5M.
    3. A couple of wingers for the last 5M. Obviously not Connelly but I think Donskoi would be a nice fit.

    At least some of the host of AHL forwards who were on the team at the end of last year will be back where they belong.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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

  • 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.