Sekera out 6-9 months with torn ACL, a huge blow for Oilers

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The injury that knocked Andrej Sekera out of the playoffs was a big one — on Tuesday, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli announced that Sekera suffered a torn ACL, and will miss the next six to nine months as a result.

Sekera, 30, was a vital part of the Edmonton blueline this season. He finished second among all d-men in scoring (35 points) and average time on ice (21:29 per game). He was knocked out of the Anaheim series early in Game 5, and was ruled out for the remainder.

During the year, head coach Todd McLellan was full of praise for the veteran rearguard.

“He’s our No. 1,” McLellan said, per the Journal. “He’s playing his game in our system and when players do that they don’t over-extend themselves. He’s healthy and a year in and he understands what the organization is about. He has more experience with our team, not just experience in the league. He knows language and situations better. He’s playing to his strengths in our structure.”

Chiarelli already faced an offseason filled with decisions prior to this injury. It’ll be curious to see how it affects his strategy.

Defenseman Kris Russell, a pending UFA, has stated he’d like to re-up with the Oilers. Fellow d-men like Sekera, Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom are all signed long term, and it’s fair to suggest Russell isn’t going to sign another one-year deal.

So, do the Oilers lock him up? Or do they let Matt Benning and Darnell Nurse step into bigger roles? It’s also worth noting that Edmonton made a couple of nice picks in the 2015 draft, getting Caleb Jones (Seth’s brother) in the fourth round and Ethan Bear in the fifth.

More: Some big decisions remain for the Edmonton Oilers