Oilers News & Rumors: Gretzky, Hall, Broberg, More

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, a game between the game’s greatest scorer and what could be the NHL’s leading goal-getter is being organized for charity. In other news, what are the Oilers planning on doing with 2019 prospect Philip Broberg? And, as more speculation stirs about the salary cap, how will this affect the Oilers plans moving forward?

Gretzky to Play Game Against Ovechkin

The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning via their Twitter account that hockey legend Wayne Gretzky will take on sniper Alex Ovechkin in an NHL 20 best-of-three battle on April 22nd, in an attempt to raise money for a pair of local charities.

Gretzky tells The Washington Post’s, Scott Allen:

“There’s been so much talk about the goal record, so there’s a nice link between Alex and myself. I thought we could do something that people could watch and help raise money for those who need it.”

source – ‘Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky to square off in NHL 20 for coronavirus relief” – The Washington Post – Scott Allen – 04/16/2020

The Great One originally came up with the idea after seeing a video of Ovechkin playing video games with his son. The games will be streamed on the Washington Capitals Twitch Channel on Wednesday night, April 22nd, starting at 6 pm. Fans can watch and make donations that will benefit both the Edmonton Food Bank and Washington’s “Feeding the Frontlines” fund.

In respect to whether or not Gretzky believes Ovechkin can break his goal record, he notes, “I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind that he has a great chance to do that. He plays on a good team with good players. And most importantly, Alex plays hard every single night.”

Related: Wayne Gretzky – The Great One’s 10 Most Unbreakable Records

Broberg to Stay in Sweden

As per Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts post on Wednesday, GM Ken Holland notes that 2019 first-rounder Philip Broberg will stay in Sweden next year if training camp is not “normal.”

Philip Broberg Oilers Draft
Philip Broberg, Edmonton Oilers, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

The idea originally was to give Broberg a chance to compete for a spot next season but if there are massive delays, the organization will simply have him stay with Skelleftea. Friedman also notes that some Swedish players are already skating because the country’s quarantine laws are a little looser — this could benefit Broberg.

Related: NHL Rumors: Williams, Hall, Peters, Free Agency, More

New Projections on Salary Cap and Consequence to Oilers

Unlike some teams, the Oilers aren’t facing potentially catastrophic problems if the salary cap stays flat, or heaven forbid, goes down. But, as more news comes to light about what the cap might look like, the Oilers will certainly be affected.

A flat or lower cap will force Holland to make some moves but also affect how easy it will be to make them. The bad news is, trading Kris Russell and his $4 million cap hit might be impossible. He may also have to buy out James Neal might become necessary.

Taylor Hall
Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall (4) during the NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena.

The good news is that free agents who might have been unrealistic before might be possible now. Frank Seravalli of TSN posted an article in which an agent told him, “I don’t think players truly grasp just how much the world has changed.” He added, “… they have a hard time accepting going backward financially, but that’s what is going to happen.”

What this means, is that if a player like Taylor Hall is hell-bent on getting his $10 million per season, he’s going to have to wait 2-3 years before any team might be willing to pay that. What does he do between now and then? The answer is a short-term deal on a team that will allow him to maximize what he can do production-wise to up his value. Could we realistically see a situation where Hall takes $6 million for one year, then re-visits free agency? It seems hard to imagine players doing this, but in a couple of months when revenues drop even more, maybe.

Related: 3 Biggest Trades in Red Wings History

A Lego Ode To Pocklington

As per a story on CBC News, Joel Cadieux, a Red Deer salesman, is building a biopic about former Oilers own Peter Pocklington out of Lego. He has created 100 scenes of Pocklington’s time with the Oilers and is sharing a photograph of a new scene each day on social media. 

He’s recreated some of the more iconic moments in history that surround the story of Pocklington with the Oilers and it’s worth a look. Cadieux writes, “Buckle up, the story of Peter Pocklington’s rise from ambitious young man to a business leader and NHL owner is for the first time coming at you in LEGO.”

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