After missing all of last season following hip surgery, it appears as though Nathan Gerbe has decided to retire. The long-time NHL forward has been hired as a development coach by the Nashville Predators, who announced several hockey operations appointments today.
Now 35, Gerbe had a special place in the hearts of many NHL fans, due to his extremely small stature relative to his competition. The 5’4″ forward was a fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2005 who certainly never let his size slow him down, reaching the NHL by the 2008-09 season after starring at Boston College.
In 435 career NHL games, Gerbe scored 63 goals and 151 points, reaching career marks of 16 and 31 on two different occasions. While smaller than his opponents, there was never any hesitance on his part, as he racked up nearly 400 hits in his NHL career and even had multiple fights. One of the most memorable moments of Gerbe’s physical play came in 2020, when he hit Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux and proceeded to drop the gloves with 6’3″ Travis Sanheim.
With Nashville, he will be responsible for evaluating prospects and “helping them with their maturation process into NHL players” by focusing on nutrition, condition, and practice habits. Gerbe, known for his fitness and never-ending work ethic, seems like a great choice for the position.