After 16 seasons, one of the best Slovak defensemen to ever lace them up is calling it a career. Andrej Sekera told a Slovak-language newspaper today that he’s stepping back from the NHL.
A 2004 third-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, Sekera carved out a quite long, underrated NHL career with the Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, and Dallas Stars, where he spent the last three years and 135 games of his career.
His peak season, interestingly enough, came during his only full season with Carolina, notching 11 goals and 44 points in 74 games while averaging a career-high 23:41 per game.
Sekera was one of the more overlooked pieces that helped the Edmonton Oilers return to relevancy with Connor McDavid at the helm. He was the team’s most important defensive player in the 2016-17 season that saw them make the playoffs for the first time in 11 years, but a torn ACL during the second round in 2017 really hurt his career. He never played more than 57 games in a season after that and never averaged higher than 18 minutes per game after consistently averaging 20 or more for a number of seasons prior.
Sekera retired third all-time in games played amongst Slovak defensemen, trailing the obvious (Zdeno Chara) and Lubomir Visnovsky.
Former Cane. I dare anyone to go to CapFriendly and look at Ron Francis’ trade history at Carolina.