Nathan Gerbe

Sabres sign Nathan Gerbe to three-year, $4.3 million contract and avoid arbitration


Terry Pegula and his fun ways are working their way out once again in Buffalo. This time they work out in favor of impending restricted free agent Nathan Gerbe.

Gerbe signed a three-year, $4.3 million deal with Buffalo today to avoid salary arbitration with the club.  Gerbe became one of Buffalo’s more useful depth players last year as he developed a style that saw him find ways to get to the net and irritate opponents with his won’t-stop-doing-stuff way about him.

Last season, Gerbe got his first chance to break through with the Sabres and did so in a big way despite his diminutive stature. In 64 games, Gerbe scored 16 goals and added 15 assists while mainly playing on Buffalo’s third or fourth lines. For the former Boston College standout, Gerbe’s had to fight his way into the NHL but after his performance last season and now a very rewarding extension, it’s safe to say he’s carved out his place on Buffalo’s roster from here on out.

The signing by GM Darcy Regier with owner Terry Pegula’s blessing is also yet another sign that Buffalo will do what it takes to take care of their own guys and make the necessary moves to win. In the past it’s likely that a player in Gerbe’s position would’ve gone through arbitration and had his contract figured out from there. You might recall the song and dance Tim Kennedy went through with the Sabres that ultimately saw him get bought out after winning his hearing.

Things are different in Buffalo now and it’s got Sabres fans hoping that Pegulamania will bring them one really big gift this free agent season in the form of Brad Richards. We’ll find out soon enough if Pegula is just that good to convince him and is that willing to break the bank to make it happen.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf
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Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.

Jarred Tinordi becomes the latest youngster to be sent to the AHL for ‘conditioning’

Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher
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Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.

It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.

Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.

Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.

Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth

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Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.

With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.

Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.

The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth after the 23-year-old completed his 14-day conditioning assignment.

Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around