March 18: Sekera has cleared waivers, according to Chris Johnston of TSN. The veteran defenseman can now be assigned to the minor leagues, where $1.125MM of his cap hit would come off the books.
March 17: A somewhat surprising name has hit the wire today, as Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reports the Dallas Stars have placed Andrej Sekera on waivers. Sekera was only activated from long-term injured reserve a few days ago and hasn’t played since January.
Last playing on January 28, Sekera’s placement on waivers is most interesting because of the situation the Stars are currently in. The team is still battling for playoff spot in the Central Division but recently lost top defenseman Miro Heiskanen to mononucleosis. They have relied heavily of late on the trio of John Klingberg, Ryan Suter, and Esa Lindell, while Joel Hanley, he of just 108 career NHL games, is seeing only a handful of minutes.
Sekera would seem to be a fine depth piece to insert over Hanley if needed, and it even seemed that was the plan just a few hours ago. As Saad Yousuf of The Athletic tweets, head coach Rick Bowness said this morning that they would “for sure” get Sekera into the lineup on the weekend. If that is still the plan, it obviously is not hinging on the veteran defenseman clearing waivers today, something that’s certainly no guarantee this time of year.
While he does carry a $1.5MM cap hit, Sekera is also on an expiring deal, meaning a team could potentially claim him as if he were a deadline rental acquisition. It doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility for a player with 834 games of NHL experience to draw some interest, even if his season hasn’t been a successful one. In 24 games, Sekera has registered just three points while averaging just under 14 minutes a night.
If he does clear, the Stars could potentially bury a good chunk of his cap hit in the minor leagues if they are looking to make an addition of their own at the deadline.