Edmonton center Gaetan Haas has decided to head back home. After spending the last two years with the Oilers, EHC Biel-Bienne of the Swiss NLA announced that they’ve signed Haas to a five-year contract.
The 29-year-old decided to try his hand in North America in 2019 following a pair of strong offensive seasons with SC Bern in Switzerland. However, while Haas was a capable checker in Edmonton, he didn’t produce much offensively in his first NHL season, notching just five goals and five assists in 58 games. Still, he did enough to earn a second chance, inking a one-year, $915K one-way contract back in April.
But things didn’t go any better this past season. While he got to spend some time in Bern where his offensive production returned, it failed to carry over when he returned to Edmonton. As a result, he managed only two goals and one assist in 34 games in 2020-21 despite averaging over 11 minutes a game in ice time.
While Haas could have returned to the open market and tried his hand at catching on somewhere else, this seems like the wiser course of action for him as he now returns to his hometown team. In the meantime, the Oilers will be looking for cheap depth to round out their roster and could look to free agency to find a replacement although Ryan McLeod has certainly made a case for a full-time roster spot next season and could slide into Haas’ role to start with an eye on quickly moving up the depth chart.