By Mike Harrington
The Sabres have placed winger Nathan Gerbe on waivers, with TSN reporting it's for the purpose of using one of their two compliance buyouts on him.
The 5-foot-5 Gerbe had five goals and five assists in 42 games last season, failing for the second straight year to become a major part of the offense as he struggled after offseason back surgery. He had a breakthough season in 2010-11, with 16 goals and 31 points in 64 games but slumped in 2011-12 to post just six goals in 62 games.
In 188 NHL games, Gerbe has 29 goals and 43 assists. He was Buffalo's fifth-round pick in 2005 out of Boston College, where he was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 Frozen Four and a Hobey Baker finalist to current Sabre Kevin Porter.
GM Darcy Regier has said on several occasions, including yesterday's free agency preview press conference, that the Sabres did not expect to use one of their compliance buyouts this summer. Teams have two to use in a period that ends at 5 p.m. Thursday or they have to wait until next June.
By buying out Gerbe, the Sabres would owe him $308,333 each of the next two seasons -- but his $1.45 million cap hit would be wiped from the books. Gerbe was scheduled to make $1.85 million this season.