The title says it all, really.
Every person I’ve talked to about Sekera’s new deal seems to dislike it and then immediately throw a caveat onto the thought. The caveat seems to be “the Sabres can do deals like this now” or something equally dismissive of Sekera’s value. “Trade bait” is another popular one.
Does anyone actually think Sekera is good? I do. In fact, I think he’s getting better and the contract he got wasn’t totally insane. Is that so hard to believe?
The Sabres have changed the modus operandi around these parts. Obviously. But that doesn’t mean signing Andrej Sekera to a four-year deal worth $11 million is an indicator that Buffalo becomes the Buyout City in two years’ time.
I love the fact that hockey chatter in July isn’t a forced action this summer, but I feel like we’re missing the mark on Sekera a bit. Isn’t he good? Doesn’t he have potential to be one of the Sabres’ better players over the next few seasons?
Mirtle loved his first half last year. His flashes of brilliance used to be a beautiful breakout pass surrounded by turnovers. Now those glimpses were entire games last season. Sekera has improved dramatically and he’s going to get better. At least Darcy thinks so.
“The thing that really prompted us to go longer term with ‘Rej’ was the recognition that we were going to be in arbitration if we didn’t, No. 1, and the belief in him and his ability to grow,” Regier said. “I think we’re just starting to see what Rej can become.”
Facts are facts and quotes are quotes, but you can toss that Darcy quote out of his mouth at any point during his tenure in Buffalo because that’s how he operates. Regardless of the Brave New World vibe the team has going on these days (Got Soma?) this is a move that’s absolutely in the Sabres’ wheelhouse.
The ‘Breaking Bad’ Sabres may engage in some salary cap shenanigans here and there but they’re keeping around their good young players that are showing some promise. In my book, that’s a pair of thumbs just waiting to get sunburned.
What’s interesting is that Sekera’s reputation among fans seems so varied. Some think he has the lowest potential of anyone on the blue line, sans Montador. Even Marc-Andre Gragnani’s stock is soaring, but is he really more reliable than Sekera at this point?
The big names the Sabres have landed are relative question marks for fans. Leino, Ehrhoff and Reghier were all in other sweaters and viewed very differently, if at all, by Sabres fans last season. This year the spotlight will be on that trio to live up to
the cash the hype and make sure this season doesn’t end with someone calling out directions on a compass.
Still, I wonder if the frame never really fit the picture for Sekera. Fans are going to see him in a different light this fall, and maybe that’s for the best. From what I remember he has what it takes to stand out.