Andrej Sekera said he was asleep at home in Slovakia when a 2 a.m. phone call awakened him and changed his life.

Sekera was no longer a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

The defenseman was drafted by the Sabres in 2004. His entire NHL career – more than 340 games – had been spent with the Sabres.

But on June 30 Sekera was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes during the NHL Entry Draft in Newark N.J. The Canes shipped defenseman Jamie McBain and their second-round draft pick to the Sabres.

“The way the business is it’s always in your head that it could happen” Sekera said Thursday after skating at Raleigh Center Ice. “I got traded. No big deal. Life goes on.

“I’m happy to start with a clean slate here and try to prove something to myself and to the team too.”

The Hurricanes were looking for help on the blue line after finishing 26th in the NHL in shots against (32.2 per game) and 29th in goals against (3.31) last season. General manager Jim Rutherford said the defense would be revamped and trading for a top-four defenseman was a priority.

I’ve played against him the past few years and know he’s a very solid NHL player” Canes captain Eric Staal said. “Great skater. Kind of does everything well.”

Sekera 27 has the kind of experience the Canes were seeking. In the 2010-2011 season he set career highs in assists (26) and points (29). He also was a member of the Slovakian Olympic team in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

“I like to skate. I like to join the rush” Sekera said. “Keep it simple in our zone and make the first pass. Try to help as much as I can in the offensive zone as well as help in the defensive zone.”

Sekera said his impression of the Canes was that they were a team that skated well and was crafty in creating offensive chances.