After initial news indicating the Oilers had given Philip Broberg permission to seek a trade, general manager Ken Holland is reportedly now denying this.
Despite only being in the third month of the 2023-24 campaign, there’s already been plenty of adversity for the Oilers to contend with. A poor start to the season, an early coach firing, injuries and certain players underperforming, have helped create story lines worthy of a soap opera.
Well, now we have another plot for fans and media alike to sink their teeth into. And it involves a talented blue-liner, who has not yet lived up to the potential which saw him selected eighth overall in the 2019 draft.
As first reported by Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff, the Oilers had apparently granted permission for Philip Broberg’s camp to seek a trade. However, the Oilers are now denying this is the case.
According to TSN‘s Ryan Rishaug, general manager Ken Holland is saying he has not given permission to Broberg’s agent Darrin Ferris, to shop his client. As per Rishaug, Ferris responded to this by saying:
"“This matter reflects both my and my client’s frustration with the Oilers. I’m actively collaborating with Ken to address and resolve the issue privately.”"
Someone is clearly not telling the truth here, but who? The natural tendency for many would be to say it’s the agent, given the less than flattering stereotype usually associated with them.
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In respect of this situation specifically, why would Ferris not be truthful in the first place? Perhaps his motivation was a combination of forcing the issue and trying to get some indication of the market for his client.
If, however, it’s Holland who isn’t being truthful, what would be his motivation? Maybe he did initially grant permission for Broberg’s camp to seek a trade but then had second thoughts, concerned that a willingness to move the player would somehow compromise the potential return value.
Regardless of who is at fault for not being honest, this whole situation is just one big mess. One suggestion we won’t entertain though, is that this was simply a case of miscommunication; both parties know what they’re doing, with one side attempting to misrepresent the truth. (As the saying goes, professional sports often reflect society.)
This still all leads to what the future holds for Broberg in Edmonton? Previously considered an all around talented defenceman with significant upside, the jury is now out on what he’s capable of achieving.
The 22-year-old has seen a gradual decline in his overall productivity during his three seasons of play with the Oilers. Through 10 games this season he has no points, while also being projected to have the lowest average ice time and first corsi percentage below 50 percent of his NHL career.
His poor play recently led Oil on Whyte‘s Phil Gretzky to declare Broberg a draft bust. This could be the case, although it might also be a situation when a young player just needs a fresh start, to fulfil his potential.
Overall, we believe it’s still too soon to make a final decision on Broberg and what he might or might not achieve in Edmonton. Moving him now could come back to bite the Oilers in the ass, although the recent words of Ferris — truthful or not — indicate a relationship which is beyond repair.