Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera is one of the top players expected to be on the market come trade deadline time, and with contract negotiations not going in the right direction, a trade involving the 28-year-old Slovak is becoming more and more likely.
On NHL Live on NBCSN on Wednesday, NHL Insider Bob McKenzie talked about the Carolina Hurricanes, their corner stone players, and Andrej Sekera entering the trade deadline.
"“Well those guys (Cam Ward and Eric Staal) are under contract so that’s fine and they got no movement clauses, so as long as they don’t want to go anywhere, they won’t go anywhere. But where it gets difficult is when you get an expiring contract on a defenseman like Andrej Sekera, who’s going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. He’s having an excellent season. He’s playing very, very well. Part of the rejuvenation of Carolina lately is because he has played as well as he has. He’s putting points on the board, and being good defensively, but there’s a lot of trade interest in him now. General manager Ronny Francis has gone on record saying, I’m going to give it one more try here to get this guy signed to an extension, but if I can’t get him signed to an extension, then we’re going to have to trade him. Getting him signed to an extension will be difficult. Carolina is very much a budget team, not even close to the salary cap. They’ve got a strong internal budget. Sekera, because he puts points on the board, is going to be a guy that’s going to generate between 5 million and 6 million a year on a longer term deal. Lots of teams interested in Carolina, Sekera if he is made available at the deadline.”-Bob McKenzie (Transcribed by Cardiac Cane)"
It should be a surprise to no one that Andrej Sekera is set to demand a lot of money over a long term deal. The pending UFA has played the best hockey of his career over the past 2 seasons in Carolina.
With the Carolina Hurricanes a low-budget team, it is unlikely that they will be able to afford another big contract north of $5 million per season for 4-5 years.
Though Andrej Sekera may be worth the big money, it just doesn’t look like it will happen in Carolina. That is where the trade talk comes in.
A playoff contender will likely step in, and not only be willing to offer up big assets for Sekera, but also be willing to sign him to that big extension.
Andrej Sekera’s agent, Allen Walsh, is set to hold contract talks with the Hurricanes in the coming weeks, and if nothing comes out of them, the defenseman will likely be in another uniform come March 2.
"“With our free agents, we’d like to be able to keep them and sign them, at the end of the day it has to be the right term and the right number,” Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis told ESPN.com Monday. “If it is, then great. If it isn’t, then we’ll probably have to move them prior to March 2.”"
Change appears to be coming in Carolina if the team fails to reach deals with pending unrestricted free agents. Who will be moved and who will be brought back? Those are burning questions that we will not know the answer to until March 2, or maybe even sooner.