Andrej Sekera to make season debut for Edmonton Oilers
Sekera suffered a torn Achilles in off-season. He spent all season rehabbing and then played five games with the Oilers’ AHL team in Bakersfield, Calif. on a conditioning assignment. He’ll be paired with Matt Benning Tuesday night when the Oilers host the Arizona Coyotes.
“Presence-wise, he commands the room, and that’s important,” said head coach Ken Hitchcock. “I think everyone in that room and every coach is hoping he has a great start and he shows he can keep up and continue his career. He has the ultimate respect of everyone in that room.”
Sekera has been battling injuries for almost two years. He suffered a torn ACL in the 2017 playoffs and suited up for only 36 games in 2017-18.
Sam Gagner will play his first home game as an Oiler since April 10, 2014. He was acquired on Saturday in a trade with the Canucks and got to Brooklyn in time to play in the Oilers 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders.
“Being an Oiler again is a great feeling,” Gagner said. “I’m obviously passionate about being an Oiler and what it means. I think I can help. I’m excited about the challenge.”
Josh Currie will make his NHL debut. The 26-year-old leads Bakersfield with 24 goals.
“I’m definitely an offensive guy. I like to score. I like to get on the forecheck and be hard on the walls. I try to be responsible. You have to play a 200-foot game nowadays,” said Currie.
The Oilers have just six wins in their last 25 games and are seven points out of a playoff spot. Their expected lineup is:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Rieder – Nugent-Hopkins – Gagner
Lucic – Cave – Chiasson
Rattie – Brodziak – Currie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
Defenceman Brandon Manning cleared waivers Tuesday morning and has been assigned to Bakersfield.
The Oilers and Coyotes are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.