Oilers reportedly in contract talks with blue-liner Philip Broberg

Considered a genuine trade candidate earlier this season, the Oilers apparently now want to make sure Philip Broberg remains in Edmonton.
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Three
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It's been quite the season for Philip Broberg. There's no way the Edmonton Oilers defenceman -- or anyone for that matter -- could have predicted how the 2023-24 campaign was going to play out for him.

Earlier in the season, it seemed there was no way back for the Oilers and Broberg. A report from Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff indicated the organisation had given him permission to seek a trade, although general manager Ken Holland subsequently denied this.

Regardless of what the truth was, there was no denying the 2019 eighth overall draft pick was not living up to the potential which had seen him selected so high. Expected to pan out as a top four pairing at the very least, he had instead taken a step back in his development and in some quarters even labelled as a draft bust.

A resurgence in Bakersfield

As a result, Broberg spent the majority of the regular season plying his trade with the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Due credit to him though, rather than moping, he buckled down and worked hard to prove his worth.

Along these lines, the just turned 23-year-old excelled with the Condors in 49 games. He finished second on the team with 33 assists, produced 38 points in total, and ranked third with a +9 rating.

Broberg did play in the final two regular season games for the Oilers. However, this was seen as more a case of giving other players a rest ahead of the playoffs, rather than offering him another chance to show what he could do.

In any event, it couldn't have prepared anyone for what was to come. After seeing no action for the first two and a half rounds of the playoffs, the Sweden native was brought in for game four of the Western Conference Final versus the Dallas Stars.

Broberg never looked back as he remained in the lineup the rest of the way, including all seven games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers. He averaged 15:48 of ice time in 10 contests, was fifth on the team with a +8 rating and recorded three points, including a memorable goal in game three versus the Panthers.

Broberg's gain is Desharnais' loss

Finally, the Oilers got to see exactly what the left-shot defenceman was capable of, to the point it made teammate Vincent Desharnais almost an afterthought. In fact we're now at the point, where they have swapped placed in respect of who is more valuable, and in turn more likely to be back in Edmonton next season.

As we recently wrote, the belief is that Desharnais is expected to test free agency. This is due to a combination of him being in demand around the league and unlikely to get the type of money he wants from the Oilers.

As for Broberg, Caleb Kerney of The Hockey News reports that the Oilers have begun negotiations with his representatives on a contract extension. As things stand, he is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1.

Previously, the Oilers might not have been too concerned, but the blue-liner's recent form has seen his stock rise. This in turn means more money potentially being offered from other teams.

Now yes, the Oilers would still be given the opportunity to match any offer, but it seems like they don't want to take any chances. As a result, Broberg's next deal could see his cap hit rise significantly from $863,333, with Kerney speculating anywhere between $2 million and $4 million.

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Overall, Broberg's turnaround offers yet another reminder of how the combination of hard work, opportunity and even some luck, can lead to positive outcomes. Ultimately though he deserves it, especially after proving himself on the biggest stage that the NHL has to offer.

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