Sekera Signed to Extension
The Buffalo Sabres continued their busy summer today, agreeing on contracts with both Andrej Sekera and 4th liner Matt Ellis. Sekera – who is just 24 – is now locked up through June of 2015. His contract will pay him 11 million dollars over that span, making him the 4th highest paid defensemen on the team (Regehr, Ehrhoff, Leopold). Ellis was signed to a two year deal, which will be a 2 way deal this year, followed by a 1 way deal in 2012-13.
Here is the breakdown of the Sekera deal:
2011-12 $4.25 Million
2012-13 $3.25 Million
2013-14 $1.75 Million
2014-15 $1.75 Million
Ellis is a great 4th line signing for the Sabres. He will most likely split time between Portland and Buffalo this year, filling in as depth whenever injuries begin to mount. He doesn’t have much, if any flair, but works hard and the Sabres seem to do very well with him in the lineup:
The Sabres had a staggering record when the veteran Ellis played in 2010-11. Although he did not score a goal, the Sabres went 11-1-and-2 with Ellis playing.
Sekera played in 76 games for the Sabres this year, and had some very good stretches. If he becomes more consistent, this will turn out to be a great signing for Buffalo. The Slovak was one of 3 Buffalo defensemen to average over 20:00 of ice time per game. He shouldn’t see that amount of ice time in 2011 though, with Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regier both joining the blue-line ranks. While he only scored 3 goals this year, he seems to make the Sabres much better offensively. If Sekera can continue to be a threat on the rush, and improve his defensive game, Buffalo could have the best defense corps in the league.
It’s still surreal to look back on the events that have occurred in the past month. Terry Pegula and Ted Black have transformed Buffalo into “hockey heaven,” the only thing left to do is start winning. The team looks stocked and ready to go for 2011-2012, with a Stanley Cup in view. I know I’m enjoying the ride immensely so far, and can’t wait for games to start up again.