Barely two months after leaving the NHL and signing a two year deal with Geneve-Servette in the Swiss league, center Mike Santorelli has announced his retirement, the NLA team announced (link in French). The decision came as a result of injuries as Santorelli was expected to be out long-term. The 30 year old suited in six games for the team before hanging up the skates, picking up a goal and three assists.
Santorelli played in 406 games over an eight year NHL career with Nashville, Florida, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, and Anaheim, scoring 64 goals and 74 assists. His best year came in 2010-11 where he had his lone 20 goal season, tallying 20 goals and 21 assists while playing in all 82 games.
As a result of his retirement, Geneve-Servette now has an import spot open and appear to once again have their eyes on Rangers forward Nathan Gerbe. Back in June, it was reported that he was close to signing with the team; one Swiss paper reports (via Swiss Hockey News) that a deal was actually signed but was dissolved at the time he signed with the Rangers. If that is true, Gerbe could be loaned to them if he is cut by New York and clears waivers. The 5’6 forward had just seven points in 47 games with Carolina last year but had 28 and 31 point campaigns in the last two seasons with the Hurricanes.
The same report suggests Rangers forward Josh Jooris may also be targeted by Geneve-Servette if he were to be cut by New York; his father played for the team back in 1998-99. Jooris suffered a groin injury in his first preseason game and has yet to suit up since which certainly won’t help his chances of cracking their opening night roster.