Tracking the Storm

Canes Acquire Sekera in Second-Round Trade

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 7:15 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Acquire Sekera in Second-Round Trade

When the Carolina Hurricanes were looking to move down a few picks in the first round and acquire a top-four defenseman, they had their eye on Buffalo Sabres blueliner Andrej Sekera.

Michael Smith
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That trade never happened.

Then the second round began, and the Hurricanes made their move.

In the first ever trade between the Carolina and Buffalo organizations, the Canes acquired Sekera in exchange for defenseman Jamie McBain and the 35th overall pick.

“We’re really pleased to get Sekera,” said Jim Rutherford, the team’s president and general manager. “He’s a real defensive defenseman. He’s a shutdown guy. He can kill penalties and really play in all situations.”

Sekera was a third-round pick of Buffalo in 2004. He’s logged 92 points (17g, 75a) in 339 career games with the Sabres. In the 2012-13 season, he averaged 21:12 of ice time per game.

“We feel very comfortable with him in our top four,” Rutherford continued. “He can play top-four minutes.”

When outlining offseason priorities, Rutherford placed finding a top-four defenseman at the top of the list. Vice President of Hockey Operations Ron Francis identified Sekera, a 27-year-old Slovakia native, a short-list candidate.

“We kept watching him closer and closer, and then we eventually got to today,” Rutherford said, musing that Sekera could pair with Tim Gleason on the blue line.

McBain was selected by Carolina in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He logged 206 career games with the Canes, posting 19 goals and 56 assists (75 points). In the 2012-13 season, he had just eight points (1g, 7a) in 40 games.

“I think Jamie will turn his game around next year, but unfortunately he didn’t come to camp last year ready to play,” Rutherford said. “He wasn’t in good shape, and because of that, he didn’t have a good year and he got in the coach’s doghouse. I really didn’t see that he was going to get himself out of it. I wish him well. He’s a good guy.”

Now that the Canes have addressed their defensive needs on draft day, don’t expect the team to be overly active in the last five rounds.

“I’m not as anxious now to do anything,” Rutherford said. “I don’t think we will.”

Don’t rule out further moves in the offseason, though.

“This answers our need for right now, but we’ll keep looking around,” Rutherford said. “We said we were going to change our defense around, and we started to do that with Sekera. (Ryan) Murphy and (Brett) Bellemore are real strong possibilities, so there are three new guys right there. If somebody else comes along that we think we can upgrade our position, then we will.”

Talks to move the pick in the first round might not have panned out, but the Hurricanes aren’t complaining.

“As it’s turned out, we got to stay at five, get the player we wanted and also get the defenseman that we, when we came here to this draft, were hoping to get,” Rutherford said.



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72