The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Nathan Gerbe to a one-year, two-way deal. Gerbe will need to clear waivers to sign with the club, usually a formality in these situations. No financial details were released at this point.
Gerbe, 30, hasn’t played in the NHL since 2015-16, instead spending the last two seasons in the Swiss NLA. The forward, known most for his small stature (he stands 5’4″) scored seven points in 47 games for the Carolina Hurricanes during his last tour in the league, but does have a pair of 16-goal seasons on his resume. Despite the usual stereotype about small players being pure skill, Gerbe actually brings a bit of grit and toughness to the game. Willing to throw his body around and dig in the corners, he’s never shied away from the physical side of the game.
The Blue Jackets yesterday sent Brandon Dubinsky away from the club, either for another examination of his eye, or according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic (subscription required) something more disciplinary in nature. Even before the loss of Dubinsky to a fractured orbital bone the team has been thin at forward for much of the season. Though Gerbe doesn’t represent much upside, he could give them some veteran depth at either the NHL or AHL level and be a useful piece if he can show that he’s still able to compete in the North American game.
Columbus Blue Jackets reporter Brian Hedger was first to report the deal was close last night.