AUDIO: Listen to newly-acquired Los Angeles Kings defenseman Andrej Sekera’s first interview with the local media.
LOS ANGELES — For veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera, if being traded wasn’t enough, due to weather conditions, he had to endure flight delays getting out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Sekera managed to make it to Los Angeles on February 26, only later than either he, or his new team, the Los Angeles Kings, had originally planned.
After undergoing hours of physical examinations, Sekera finally met with the media after the first period of his new team’s game against the Ottawa Senators at Staples Center in Los Angeles that evening.
Sekera, who did not play in the game, said that he got a phone call at home, notifying him of the trade.
“I had a day off, so I was sitting on my couch, watching TV, and I got a phone call that I was traded,” he said. “I was happy, going to a great organization, a club that has had success in the last couple of years, and belongs [in] the top of the league.”
Sekera had been the subject of trade rumors for much of the season, with many of those rumors connecting him to the Kings. Despite the rumors, he went about his normal business of playing hockey.
“You hear it, and you pay attention to it, a little bit, but you never know where you’re going to end up, so you just have to take care of the business on the ice, and whatever happens will happen,” said the 28-year-old, 6-0, 201-pound native of Bojnice, Slovakia. “It’s part of this business. You get traded and you have to move on.”
Sekera talked about the type of player he is.
“I’m a small, skating defenseman who likes to move the puck, play the game smart, be responsible in the defensive zone, and if there’s an opening, try to help offensively, too,” he said. “I’m focusing on the defensive zone first, but if there’s a chance, I’ll try to chip in.”
“I know what I bring to the table,” he added. “I want to play hard, and play a simple game. Nothing special. I just want to blend in, and help this team win even more games through hard work and [playing] an honest game.”
Sekera indicated that he had spoken with fellow Slovakian Marian Gaborik and former Buffalo Sabres teammate/defensive pair Robyn Regehr about what playing for the Kings is like.
“It’s a high-end club,” said Sekera. “Losing is not an option here. It’s great to be in an environment like that. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun, and it’s going to be a challenge, too.”
“The weather is nice, but [the Kings always play] a high-tempo game,” added Sekera. “The guys here play hard from the first minute to the last. It’s always a tight game. They, now we, have got a pretty good team. It’s always tough to play against guys like that.”
Prior to the trade, Sekera had another connection to the Kings in Michael Futa, Vice President, Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel.
“He was my GM,” Sekera noted. “He was the guy who drafted me to [the] Owen Sound [Attack of the Ontario Hockey League]. He brought me to Canadian junior hockey, and gave me the privilege to play Canadian hockey. I was very thankful. He’s a great guy. I have a good relationship with him.”
When asked about his living arrangements, Sekera indicated that for now, he is in a hotel. But going out on the road, he believes that he will end up rooming with Gaborik.
“I think it’s going to be Gabby, at least I hope so,” he said. “Never know. There might be a surprise in the room.”
Sekera, who said that he expects to play in Anaheim on February 27, also indicated that he is a low-maintenance kind of guy.
“I’m an easy going guy,” he said. “I don’t need much to be alive. Just a little bit of water, oxygen, bread and butter, and I’m fine.”
Sounds like he’ll fit right in.
Raw Audio Interviews
(Extraneous material and dead air have been removed; click on the arrow to listen):
Andrej Sekera (3:55)
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