Two players have been placed on unconditional waivers today as the Edmonton Oilers announced they have placed veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera on unconditional waivers for the purposes of a buyout, while the Philadelphia Flyers also reported the same about defenseman David Schlemko.
Sekera had two years remaining on his six-year, $33MM deal ($5.5MM AAV) he signed in 2015 when he was the team’s No. 1 defenseman. However, major injuries have derailed his career since then as the 33-year-0ld has played just 60 games combined over the past two seasons. He played 24 games last season, putting up just four assists. While the team was hoping that Sekera might work his way back into his old form, the team decided they would rather move forward. The team is loaded with a number of young defenseman who the team wants to give a chance to on the ice, including Evan Bouchard, Ethan Bear, William Lagesson, Caleb Jones, Joel Persson, Dmitri Samorukov as well as their unsigned 2019 first-round pick, Philip Broberg. The team had been trying to find a trade partner to take Sekera off their hands, but failed even though the Oilers were willing to retain half his salary. Thus, with no trade partner available, Edmonton opted to buy him out.
The buyout will last four years with the following cap hit (according to CapFriendly):
With Sekera’s contract cleared, the Oilers should have an extra $3MM to spend as they now should have $11.3MM in projected cap space this summer with a roster of 17, including nine forwards and seven defensemen.
Schlmeko, on the other hand, has bounced around over the last few years and the 32-year-old never took the ice for Philadelphia. He was acquired along with Byron Froese in February of this year in a trade with Montreal for Christian Folin and Dale Weise. Schlemko spent the rest of his season playing for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL, where he played 18 games, tallying four assists in the process.
The veteran was going into the final year of a four-year, $8.4MM deal ($2.1MM AAV) he signed with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks, however, chose to expose Schlemko to the expansion draft in 2017 and the Golden Knights selected him and then flipped him to Montreal for a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. Although he’s dealt with numerous injuries, he spent most of his time in Montreal as the seventh defenseman, playing just 55 games over those two years.
The buyout will last just two years with the following cap hit (according to CapFriendly):
The team will now have $16.3MM in projected salary cap space for the offseason with 18 players on their roster, including nine forwards, six defensemen and three goaltenders.