Gerbe out to ‘prove everyone wrong’ after buyout, signing

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Forward Nathan Gerbe signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes for the 2013-14 campaign. Now he’s out to prove the Buffalo Sabres wrong for making him an unrestricted free agent in the first place.

It wasn’t so long ago that Gerbe’s career seemed to be swinging upwards. He broke out in 2010-11 with 16 goals and 31 points in 64 games with the Buffalo Sabres. The following season, he started his three-year, $4.35 million deal, but nothing went right.

“I was hurt in 2011 and it was something I didn’t notice right away,” Gerbe, 26, told the News & Observer. “I kept going and played 40-some games, which probably did not help me. I got to the point I struggled to take off my skates and put on my clothes.

“My recovery from surgery took about seven months. I was cleared to work out the day the lockout ended, and I jumped right into games, without a workout, which may not have been the smartest thing to do. But I’ve gotten stronger in the offseason and feel healthy and ready to go.”

As a result, Gerbe had just 11 goals and 35 points in 104 contests over the last two seasons. Still, he was “a little shocked” when the news came that the Sabres were going to buy the final season of his contract.

“It becomes something that drives you to work harder,” he said. “I want to prove everyone wrong, and especially prove it to one team up North.”

The Hurricanes only have 10 forwards signed to one-way contracts, so there’s certainly an opening for Gerbe to earn a spot on the team’s opening game roster.