Oilers defenceman Troy Stecher’s ankle surgery was to remove cyst

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Troy Stecher
Photo credit:Apr 17, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Troy Stecher (51) against the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Nestler
20 days ago
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Troy Stecher had been a scratch for the entirety of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and many fans wondered why — until this week.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Stecher, who was acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline, would have season-ending ankle surgery, explaining the mystery absence while ruling him out for the rest of Edmonton’s playoff run.
Stecher underwent successful surgery on Friday to remove a cyst from his ankle that had become badly infected and continued to get worse over time.
According to the Edmonton Journal, the Oilers were aware of the issue, but began having trouble fitting his foot into a skate, explaining why he was not practicing with the team. He played seven regular-season games with Edmonton after the trade.
“We were aware of this (cyst concern) and he managed it as he played through the season but at some time it became infected and got way worse,” said Oilers general manager Ken Holland.
Stecher is not expected to skate again until late in the summer.
A pending unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Coyotes last summer, he recently turned 30 and has 494 career NHL games under his belt.
Do the Oilers have enough room or a need for Stecher to sign him to an extension even in the midst of this injury situation? Evolving-Hockey’s contract projections have him earning a two-year, $1.159-million contract if he re-signed with the Oilers.
That is not much, and Edmonton is one of the few teams not riding the salary cap limit at the moment.
They have two other defensemen needing new contracts this summer, with Vincent Desharnais becoming an unrestricted free agent and Philip Broberg a restricted free agent. They also have a long list of forwards on expiring deals. Let’s not forget that a certain Leon Draisaitl has just one year left on his contract as well.
Beyond that, Cody Ceci’s contract should come off the books following the 2024-25 season, but Edmonton will also need to extend Evan Bouchard with a pretty hefty deal.
Any team interested in Stecher is likely going to patiently wait this summer.
The British Columbia native hopes to start skating in August, giving him enough time to prove to NHL teams that this ankle issue has fully healed. The cyst was an ongoing problem until the surgery, so not many clubs are going to jump at the chance to sign him without knowing more.
For Edmonton, specifically, it feels like there are smarter options with higher upside already within the organization. Broberg certainly seems ready to take on a bigger role next season, but Stecher could be a solid depth option for the club.
It will be interesting to see how the Oilers handle the offseason. Once they get there, that is.

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