The Blue Jackets will be without one of their depth forwards as they head into training camp later this month as the team announced (Twitter link) that winger Nathan Gerbe has undergone successful hip surgery and will miss the next four to six months.
The 34-year-old has spent the last four seasons with Columbus, seeing NHL action in three of those years. Last season, Gerbe got into 13 games with Cleveland of the AHL, notching four goals and six assists. He also suited up nine times with the Blue Jackets, picking up a goal and two assists while also spending some time on the taxi squad. Over an 11-year career that also includes stints with Buffalo and Carolina, Gerbe has 151 career NHL points in 435 contests.
Gerbe was expected to battle for a spot at the end of the roster in training camp or serve as a veteran that could be recalled when injuries strike but that clearly isn’t in the cards now. Instead, he’ll be focusing on a midseason return and at that point, it’s likely he would be waived and returned to the Monsters. He will carry a partial salary cap charge while on season-opening injured reserve (a proration of his NHL time last season multiplied by his $750K NHL AAV) but with the Blue Jackets well under the Upper Limit, that won’t be a concern for them at all.