June 17, 2024

Oilers coach sympathizes with Broberg’s ‘frustration’ but says he’s still the 7th defenceman

Kris Knoblauch praised the youngest defenseman for the Oilers on Wednesday, but he also stated that Philip Broberg won’t likely see further action unless there is an injury.

TSN said on Tuesday that Broberg and his representative are trying to “resolve this issue privately” after growing “frustrated with the Oilers.”

The Oilers have given Broberg’s agent, Darren Ferris, permission to pursue a trade, according to a report earlier in the day from hockey expert Frank Seravalli. However, general manager Ken Holland subsequently told TSN that this is untrue.

Only 10 of the Oilers’ 22 games this season have seen Broberg play, and he remained silent when speaking with media on Wednesday.

“That is a challenging circumstance. As you can see, it’s challenging for both the organization and the athlete,” Knoblauch remarked on Wednesday morning

“At the moment, I’m really pleased with our six defensemen. Our defense has been solid, they’ve been playing well, and our goals against are decreasing,” Knoblauch remarked.

“He is a player. But regrettably, he is currently our eighth person.”

Although the Oilers have very few injuries on the back end, Knoblauch stated that Broberg will be required when an injury does eventually occur.

Broberg has only appeared in two of the last twelve games, totaling fifteen minutes on the ice.

Darnell Nurse, a defenseman, expressed sympathy for Broberg as well, but he pointed out that the Oilers have a strong defense and are currently focused on winning.

“When we came into the league, and we were young, we were on a team that really didn’t have a whole lot,” Nurse said.

“So we got a lot of opportunity. For him, it’s a whole different situation where we’re pushing and trying to be one of the top teams in the league. And with that said, there’s a give-and-take with development at that point. He’s in a tough spot.”

Nurse went on to applaud Broberg’s work ethic and attitude as did fellow Swedish defenceman Mattias Ekholm.

The latter said Broberg “has all the tools” to be “a great defenceman in this league,” but he needs ice time.

“You gotta play…because if you don’t play, it’s hard to be comfortable,” he told reporters.

“I’m sure he’s going to figure it out sooner or later, but I think at this time, we need him to be playing. He’s not going to develop in the press box. So that’s just what that is, and I’ll leave that up to whoever decides what to do.”

Ekholm said he went through a similar situation when he was young.

His advice to Broberg: “at times, you just have to bury your head and keep working.”

Broberg can be sent to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors without having to clear waivers.

The Oilers play the Carolina Hurricanes at home on Wednesday.

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