Mar 11, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Philip Broberg (86) skates during the warmup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
A look at how Philip Broberg’s and Jack Campbell’s futures may be tied to their GM, an underrated goalie option for the Oilers and more.
A couple of weeks ago due to injuries to Dylan Holloway and Mattias Janmark, the Oilers called up three players from Bakersfield, utilising the cap savings currently available to them from Jack Campbell going down to Bakersfield. Called up were blueliner Philip Broberg and bottom-six forwards Adam Erne and Raphael Lavoie.
Broberg was struggling just like everyone else, but he still has a two-way contract so he could come up without issue after playing the slower game in the AHL. His career for a first-round pick at this point is under the “failure to launch” category.
Broberg has had three stints in the NHL so far and each time has failed to grab a roster spot and stay up in the big league for good. Some, like sportswriter Jim Matheson, have the gall to accuse the coaching staff of not using him properly.
To anyone who agrees with Matheson on this, I have this to ask you: When is the player to blame for his own failures? At what point will we stop looking at third parties?
So far Broberg is a bust as a draft pick, and his contract is up after this season. Then again, so is Ken Holland’s and it remains to be seen whether he will return as Oilers GM after this season. Holland could be fired in the near future, he could choose to retire, or the Oilers may play out the season, let him walk, and start out fresh with a new GM next season.
Bob Nicholson, the man who hired Holland, has stepped down to an advisory role with the club and is therefore not a Jeff Jackson hire. As such, I think Jackson has to at least consider not bringing Holland back on a new contract.
So, it’s hard to say what will happen with Broberg, as the GM who drafted him may not be here much longer, or even after the season.
As for Lavoie, this was his first call-up to the big leagues, so now he has an idea of the difference between the AHL and the NHL. He played six games mostly in the bottom six and produced no offence, which is not all that uncommon for guys on their first call-up. He’s since been sent down to Bakersfield now that Janmark is healthy enough to play again.