Swiss forward Gaëtan Haas is reportedly close to signing with the Oilers

It looks like Ken Holland is going to dip into the European free agent market again. A few weeks after inking Swedish winger Joakim Nygard to a one-year deal, a report from Switzerland indicates the Oilers are closing in on a deal with centre Gaëtan Haas of SC Bern.

Per the report…

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27-year-old Haas is close to signing a deal with the Edmonton Oilers, as Watson reports. The forward was said to have been offered a contract over a month ago by the same source but was not yet allowed to disclose from which team. Jaro Turma, his agent, confirms having received the offer.

Haas signed a contract extension with Bern back in January which includes an NHL-out clause for this summer which would allow him to leave for North America.

Haas, a 27-year-old Swiss centre who has played his entire career in his home country, scored 15 goals and 38 points in 50 games for SC Bern last season. He also went on to put up three points in eight games for Switzerland at the World Hockey Championships.

According to a scouting report from Elite Prospects, Haas plays a smart and responsible two-way game…

Gaetan Haas is an offensive center, who plays a reliable and smart two-way game. An excellent skater, who reaches very good top-speed and can make end-to-end rushes. Has soft hands and strong puck-skills. Haas sees the ice well and can play the point on the Power Play, distributing the puck using his excellent vision. He leads by example by competing hard for the puck, doing solid backchecking and not being afraid blocking shots, rounding out his solid defensive game. Haas can lead a team’s shutdown line.

Haas’ numbers in Switzerland aren’t eye-popping. For the sake of comparison, former Oiler Mark Arcobello led Bern in scoring with 53 points. But the scouting report about him being a two-way player who can drive a defensive line makes him an interesting player who could potentially plug a hole in Edmonton’s bottom-six.

The Oilers need to find cheap talent that can help up front and the European free agent market provides some interesting options. The thing with these signings is that there’s virtually zero risk attached. Maybe you can find a solid depth player. At the very worst, all you’ve lost is a spot on your 50 contracts list.

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    • OilerForLife

      My research indicates that Gaëtan Haas see’s the ice well, has excellent vision, and can play the point on the PP. As well, he can play on a shutdown line, is a solid backchecker and isn’t afraid to block shots. Sounds like a good fit on the Oilers who must play better defensively, and needs secondary scoring.

  • Synthesis


    Cant you snag guys like this from programs like the UofA Golden Bears? It seems to me the half the dudes at elite University programs have as good of a pedigree as this guy.

  • Ass Eatn Szn 69

    NHL players have finally out-priced themselves to cheaper lesser talent. This is the result of years of using the cap inflation aggressively instead of a measure approach.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Well if it is anything like the Nygard deal it wonbt be for huge money, which is good for the Oilers considering the budget they have to work with, it wouldnt hurt to have guys that can play a two way game and that can chip in at centre. If it is a two way deal, then that’s not a bad thing either, cheap contracts for guys are easy to move, I am sure the Oilers would love to target some players they like here in the NHL , but they have to move some salary to do it, so moves like these couldnt hurt

    • QuitForRealThisTime

      This is so true….Would the Oil rather sign Chiasson for example rather then unknown European players? For sure but one good year after having to fight for a job and I assume he is looking for 3-4 mil for 3-4 year. I like what Chiasson did last year but the risk of him not being able to repeat it is to high to sign for anything about 1.5 mil. So they Oil have to move on. May just end up pricing himself out of a job, but I think someone will pay him. Of course I am just using Chiasson as a potential example and have no idea of what he is really asking for but I would think that if he was willing to accept anything around $1.5 mil for 2 years the Oil would have already signed him.

    • Gravis82

      I think this is partially true. NHL players who are not superstars need to realize that they are in the NHL not necessarily because they are better than everyone in the other leagues, but perhaps a significant part of it is that they played in Canada/US and gained exposure. There are many good 3rd line players out there not in the NHL.

  • CMG30

    The first step in letting your own prospects develop is to fill the roster with other players. Good job Oilers on not penciling in the guys you just drafted!

  • OilCan2

    Ken has the cap and anchor contracts holding him back from a big splashy trade. One brick at a time may be the way to build this years version of the Oilers.

  • TKB2677

    I think this is the way the Oilers are going to have to go for the next year or 2 until contracts like Sekera and Russell are off the books. Mannings and Gagner’s contracts will be gone in a year. They need to find cheap players that can play and not go big game hunting.

    Even with NHL UFA’s. They need to find another Chiasson who was dirt cheap and grossly over achieved.

  • KPUZ

    Who cares? Another wasted contract of yet another player that will not see the light of the NHL. 38 points in 50 games in a sub par league does not cut it. Is this the best our professional scouts can do? We need actual real NHL players to supplement our very small core to be competitive.

      • KPUZ

        Seriously Becauseoilers?

        It would be hard, if not impossible, to run this team any worse than the Oiler’s management over the last decade with amongst the worst record not only in the NHL but in all professional sports.

        We will see where Haas ends up.

    • Nanook

      Do you know what line he played on? what was his role on that team? was he a third line center?? These are the kind of pick ups we need to be exploring to round out the team, cheap, cost effective with high potential. Will the guy win any scoring races?? unlikely. but if he can be part of a good shutdown line for 8-900.000 id say its a win. and if its a 2 way then it its nothing ventured nothing lost. Those scouts are doing exactly what they should be doing, finding cheap players to fill in the gaps. who is to say this guy cant compete in the nhl. Every option is worth a look at, that’s what makes the good teams great. I suppose you forget how Hollands redwings of the past never ever had any glaring holes and how names no one had ever heard of on those teams magicaly showed up to play prominent rolls. good greif would anything the management does make you happy these days?

      • Ivan Drago

        Today’s league requires depth throughout the lineup. Even your bottom 6 players need to put up points if you want to make the playoffs. Even if he was on a so called ‘ shut down line’ he’s never gone against NHL star players. He is more likely to get lip up. Call ups from the minors and waiver wire are likely better options.

    • Ivan Drago

      I’m surprised you got so many trashes. What you said is likely true. If a guy can’t be a point a game player in a sub league then what are the chances he can come to the NHL and contribute to winning games? He’s 27 and has never played hockey in North America. I understand the only thing we give up is a contract spot but wouldn’t players off the NHL waiver wire be a better option even if they are marginal players in the league.

  • Serious Gord

    This is what the org is reduced to to build depth. It’s hard to see how the path to cup competitiveness doesn’t take up most of the years they have McDavid under contract.

    • TKB2677

      The Islanders made the playoffs and swept the Pens with what exactly?
      The Hurricanes made the conference finals with what exactly?
      Tampa Bay was a sure fire cup winner. Had a stacked team from top to bottom. Where up there with the all time most regular season points. Had the Hart, Lindsay, Art ross winner, the vezina winner, Norris finalist and they went how far exactly in the playoffs?

      • Flint

        1. Goaltending. Lehner .936sv%
        2. Goaltending. McElhinney .930sv%
        3. Vezina winner had a .856sv%

        Islanders also had a good playoff from Eberle, Barzal, Bailey, Toews, Nelson, Lee, Filpula … all at 0,5 PPG or better.

        CAR had Aho, Teraveinen, Slavin, Stall, Foegele, Williams, Hamilton, all contributing.

        Oilers have a simple problem. Can’t keep pucks out of the net – Goaltending. Can’t score enough goals – depth. After McDavid, and Drai it’s a big drop off…. there’s just RNH and Nurse and then it gets real thin.

        Oilers have currently lost the fourth highest scorer in the PTO miracle that was Chaisson. Oilers need to replace those 22 goals in 38 points.

        • TKB2677

          You are right. Last season the Islanders couldn’t keep the puck out of their net. They lose Tavares, bring in a new coach, have pretty much the same defense and this season they are one of the best defensive teams and make the playoffs.