Apr 13, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Nathan Gerbe (42) during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Flyers 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes Bottom Six Options: Gerbe And Nash

With training camp only a few weeks away, Cardiac Cane will look at the candidates for the Carolina Hurricanes’ bottom six, the most contested positions on the team. We will look at two players a day for the next six days, done in alphabetical order.

(Note: Patrick Dwyer and Elias Lindholm were already counted as roster locks)

Nathan Gerbe

Gerbe is the newest addition to the Canes team, but will need to fight for a spot, despite success earlier in his career.

In the 2010-11 season the former Boston College star scored 31 points becoming a secondary scorer, but last season saw a dive in production leading to only five goals and five assists in 42 games. At the end of the season, the Buffalo Sabres decided to buyout Gerbe.

The Hurricanes are taking a low-risk/h0gh-reward chance on Gerbe. It’s possible he makes the team, but if he does not, Gerbe will just spend a year with the Checkers, making around $100,000.

Gerbe will compete for the third-line winger spot on Lindholm’s line, but if he does not earn the spot, Gerbe is likely to be in the AHL.

The 26-year-old is a one-dimensional player that can only help on offense and not on defense.

Competing for the spot with Gerbe is Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalpe and Aaron Palushaj.

Riley Nash

Riley Nash played 32 games for the Canes last season. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few returning bottom-sixers from last season, Nash is likely to reclaim his spot as fourth-line center.

Nash has what it takes to be a fourth-line forward – defensive and face-off capabilities and size (six-foot-one) to go against other big players.

The 24-year-old is not much of a scorer (nine points in 32 games last year) and will most likely be a fourth-line center for the majority of his career, but it’s a position the Canes need filled.

There will be some competition for the spot with Jeremy Welsh and Victor Rask competing, but right now it looks like Nash’s spot to lose.

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Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Nathan Gerbe NHL Offseason Riley Nash

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