Should the Pittsburgh Penguins Trade for Andrej Sekera?


Recent reports indicate that Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is shopping for a top-four defenseman to solidify the team’s blue line presence before the start of the playoffs.

The target most seem to believe is directly in his crosshairs is Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Andrej Sekera.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season on a deal that costs the Hurricanes $2.75 million, Sekera is the one of the most widely-desired targets for any team seeking a defenseman at the trade deadline.

And with the Hurricanes near rock-bottom of the NHL standings and needing to remove extraneous pieces for as much as they can get in return for them, it does not seem unlikely that the team would be willing to eat at least some of Sekera’s salary.

For the cash-strapped Penguins, a better deal could not be imagined. Defenseman Derrick Pouliot has gotten some quality time to develop with the NHL squad, but it would seem that he is not quite ready.

Sekera, on the other hand, has proven himself to be strong on both sides of the puck.

While he only has 19 points (2 goals and 17 assists) this season for an atrocious Hurricanes team, he posted a 44-point campaign last season – tallying 11 goals and 33 assists.

He’s also capable of making a highlight reel or two.

Defensively, Sekera’s Corsi-For percentage is incredibly high for a team that has played so abysmally. He is able to control the puck and generate scoring chances as strongly as the highly-touted young defenseman Justin Faulk, who was named to the All-Star squad this year.

As a matter of fact, few players on the Hurricanes have a stronger Corsi-For percentage than Sekera.

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By jumping up to a superior puck possession team like the Penguins, Sekera could see a dramatic increase in his offensive output. Furthermore, his defensive abilities would be far-better utilized on a team vying for a spot atop the division rather than a team looking to begin rebuilding.

At the end of the day, however, the cost of Sekera will be the Penguins’ biggest roadblock. Not only are the Hurricanes asking for a great deal in return for the defenseman, but he wants a hefty contract if he is to be kept around beyond this season.

While the Penguins likely would not be looking to extend his services beyond a rental, it will be up to Rutherford to assess whether or not Sekera’s services are necessary to the ultimate success of the team.

His two-way abilities, which have been proven even on one of the league’s weakest teams, speak for themselves. If his services were to come to the Steel City, his impact would become immediately known.

Andrej Sekera is a high-quality defenseman and is firmly on the market, with a big, open space potentially waiting for him in Pittsburgh. But if the Penguins are forced to deal numerous prospects and draft picks to get him, will it be worth it?