Over the next two weeks or so, we’ll look at the restricted and unrestricted free agents on the Carolina Hurricanes roster. We’ll look at pros and cons of signing each player and give a final opinion on what the team should do. A poll will be included in each post.
Nathan Gerbe was signed last summer to the lowest possible amount allowed by the NHL after being bought out by the Buffalo Sabres. This summer he can expect a raise on that $550,000 salary.
The 5-foot-5 winger finished the season with a tie in career highs in every scoring category with 16 goals, 15 assists and 31 points.
Besides providing nearly the only secondary scoring for the Hurricanes, Gerbe also played a strong defensive game and ate some time on the penalty kill. That surprised me the most. I never thought of Gerbe as a defensive player.
And that’s exactly what a third-liner should do. Maybe some more production would be nice, but Gerbe played with rotating linemates all season, including Manny Malhotra as his center in some cases.
But what I’d like to see more from Gerbe is consistency. Some games he looked great, others he wasn’t noticeable. He also had a knack of scoring in bunches, but that’s something common with most NHLers.
Gerbe’s highest cap hit was $1.45 million during his time with the Sabres, and I’d expect his next contract to be right around the same amount with $2 million being the ceiling. However, if his price is a little higher, it wouldn’t be that big of an issue.
I think the Hurricanes should re-sign Gerbe, but I’ll also say that more bottom-sixers need to be added. Gerbe’s a good player, but he’s not the solution for secondary scoring.