On Tuesday evening, the Edmonton Oilers announced that it had extended Gaëtan Haas’ contract by one year, until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The Seelandais, who has just had a metal plate removed from his finger, wants to improve further.
When Gaëtan Haas signed his first one-year contract with the Oilers in July 2019, it was legitimate to wonder if he had chosen the right franchise. Because with players like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in front of him in the center, it’s hard to claim an offensive role in Alberta. But the 28-year-old Biennese worked. Hard. The one who played the saviors for Bern in the final last year agreed to step back to become stronger and prove that he had his place in the best league in the world.
Gaëtan Haas has played 58 games with Edmonton for a total of 10 points, including 5 goals. Figures down from its stats in Switzerland, but figures which also reflect the more defensive role and limited playing time of number 91. “As a center, you have to do your job defensively, explains T Afterwards, I’m less happy with myself on the offensive level, I have to let go more mentally. I want to be even more useful to the team. And also to play more. “
The objective of the single-strand contract
Asked if he has progressed, the Biennese offers a nice formula with a disarming naturalness: “I am less often on the ground (laughs).” Accustomed to fighting training against two of the best players in the world, it seems obvious that Haas has progressed. And even if nothing is set in stone in North America, the extension of the contract ($ 915,000), a component this time and therefore guaranteed whatever happens, is reassuring. “It was the goal to have this one-way lease,” says Haas. “It hadn’t been possible the first year given my age, but that’s what we wanted with my agent.”
Note that this new contract with the Oilers makes Haas a free agent in 2021. In North America, but also in Switzerland since his lease with Bern runs until 2021. In a world governed more than ever by uncertainty, the Biennese ultimately finds himself in a less uncomfortable position than some with an NHL contract and a contract in Switzerland.
Haas’ path to the NHL must inspire young people. “They have to say to themselves that it is possible,” he adds. “Being drafted does not guarantee anything. I have always chosen the option of duration by focusing on longevity. I was inspired by the Josi’s journey rather than that of a Nino Niederreiter or Sven Bärtschi, for example, who started very quickly in the junior Canadian leagues. I was able to face men very early. “
Be ready to go
If Switzerland quickly buried the idea of ending the season and setting up play-offs, the situation is completely different in North America where each week brings a new potential idea to end the regular season to continue on playoffs. The sum of TV rights and the future large contract to be signed with broadcasters is not unrelated to this. The NHL ideally would like players to return to their team by June 1, but nothing has been asked of the athletes officially. “We don’t have a lot of information from the club, admits Gaëtan Haas. We can see how they would like it to happen, with training in small groups in June. But as the situation changes day by day, that can quickly change. “
Passed by the hospital to have a metal plate removed from his finger which had been martyred during last year’s play-offs, the Biennois is taking a well-deserved recovery: “I was delighted to remove it, the The bone has picked up quite a bit. Now it has to heal, but if we were to play again in July, I would be ready. ” Ready and impatient? “I think we are all prepared for the season to resume,” he said. “In my head, I tell myself that we have to finish it. But that doesn’t stress me more than that. I let go of them The bottom line is that the people around me are healthy. “