The New York Rangers came to terms with free agent forward Nathan Gerbe on Friday according to multiple sources. The deal is for one year and will count $600,000 against the salary cap.
The Oxford, Michigan native has played in parts of eight seasons with the Buffalo Sabres and the Carolina Hurricanes. Last season, the diminutive forward totaled three goals and four assists in an injury-riddled season.
He notched a career-high 16 goals and 31 points in 2010-11 with Buffalo and again in 2013-14 with Carolina after being bought out by the Sabres after the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign.
What Nathan Gerbe Means to the Rangers
The 5-foot-4 Gerbe may be small in stature, but he is willing to get in there among the big players. He still has a good amount of speed and is very feisty.
— Nathan Gerbe (@NathanGerbe14) July 1, 2016
His goal totals may have gone down the last few seasons, but he’s settled in as an adept penalty killer. Coach Alain Vigneault has been able to get production out of smaller forwards like Mats Zuccarello, so Gerbe could still succeed in AV’s system despite his small frame.
This deal was part of a trio of signings by the Rangers, as General manager Jeff Gorton is tight for salary cap space and can only make minimal deals at the moment while he tries to shop some of the larger contracts on the club.
The former Boston College product was rumored to be heading to the Swiss League to play for Geneve-Servette, but the Rangers were able to make a deal to keep the scrappy winger in North America.
Gerbe can give good value at his contract price. If he can offer some solid production and penalty killing, he could net himself a much longer deal and a slight raise with the Blueshirts or another team.