Devastating injury news for Oilers

Ouch… this hurts. Better get to work, Chiarelli.

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The Edmonton Oilers announced yesterday afternoon that defenseman Andrej Sekera will be sidelined indefinitely following a surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Sekera reportedly injured himself during offseason training.

Oilers  d-man Andrej Sekera underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Sekera was injured during an off-season training session & will be sidelined indefinitely.

The 32 year old defenseman missed most of the 2017-18 campaign due to injury, as well. He managed eight points in 32 games, following an offseason knee surgery. To say that this is setback for the Oilers is a giant understatement. Sekera is a smart, dependable defenseman whose capable of logging big minutes on the Oilers back end. Together with partner Kris Russell, Sekera formed a formidable top pairing for the Oilers in 2016-17, but it was clear that last offseason’s surgery affected Sekera’s play in 2017-18. He went from being the team’s uncontested #1 defenseman to being a defensive liability. To be fair, he was essentially playing on one knee. 

With Sekera out long-term once again, there’s an opportunity for another young blue liner to step up and take on a big role with the team in 2018-19. Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom will continue to play top minutes, but look for players like Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Ethan Bear and 2018 NHL Entry Draft first round pick Evan Bouchard to step up in Sekera’s absence.

If you’re looking for a breakout candidate, look no further than the 21 year old Bear. The former 5th round pick (124th overall) from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft had an excellent rookie pro season in 2017-18. The 5 foot 11 inch, 210 pound blue liner from Regina, Saskatchewan had four points in 18 games with the Oilers last season and six goals and 18 points in 37 games with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Bakersfield Condors.

Of course, it's also possible that Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli could go the free agency or trade route to fill Sekera's minutes. Veterans Toby Enstrom, Paul Martin, Jason Garrison, Alexei Emelin, Kevin Bieksa and Josh Gorges are all still available on the open market. Your move, Chia...