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After returning from family tragedy, Canes' Gerbe out to prove Sabres wrong

By John Vogl

One of the Sabres' biggest moves of the offseason was buying out forward Nathan Gerbe. The agitator with scoring ability has finally arrived at training camp with his new team, the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I was a little shocked that happened," Gerbe, in this story, said about the buyout. "It becomes something that drives you to work harder. I want to prove everyone wrong, and especially prove it to one team up north."

Gerbe joined the Canes on a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $550,000 if he plays in the NHL. He's getting an early chance, skating alongside former NHL Rookie of the Year Jeff Skinner and No. 5 overall draft pick Elias Lindholm.

Gerbe was a late arrival to camp because of the accidental death of his brother-in-law, as this story by the Raleigh News and Observer explains.

Gerbe waived on apparent road to buyout

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. 

Sabres somber talking about Boston; ex-BC star Gerbe calls Marathon bombing 'embarrassing for our world'

By Mike Harrington

As you would imagine, some pretty raw emotions in the Sabres' locker room early this afternoon as they got set to head to Boston for Wednesday night's game against the Bruins, which will be the first in the city since Monday's bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Rookie defenseman Chad Ruhwedel was playing last week for Frozen Four team Mass-Lowell, a 30-minute commuter train ride away from downtown, and was shaking his head that he could have been at the site of the blasts had he not signed his pro contract and come to Buffalo on Saturday.

"It was just heartbreaking to see that," Ruhwedel said. "The Boston Marathon is huge. Marathon Monday is huge. People go out having fun all day long. It's a good time all day. For something like that to happen is devastating.

"If I didn't have this great opportunity, I'd probably would have been down there hanging out with my team. It hit me like that. I would have been somewhere in the vicinity."

Ruhwedel said he talked to friends, teammates and family members and everyone is OK in the wake of the blast. He said his teammates didn't see the actual explosions but were close by in the area when they happened on Boylston Street at 2:50 p.m.

Winger Nathan Gerbe, a former Hobey Baker runner-up at Boston College, had a look of similar shock.

"You know exactly where it is. I've walked past there I couldn't even tell you how many times," Gerbe said. "At times for yourself, you thank God for keeping you safe. But something like this happening is embarrassing for our world to affect innocent people and innocent children. Sad."

Gerbe said he's likely to just stay inside the Sabres' hotel the next couple days and not wander around Boston like he normally does.

"I think you're a little worried going into the city obviously," he said. "They don't know exactly why and how and who. You don't know the rhyme or reasons around it. Going into the city, I'm a little nervous and a little cautious I guess. I don't know if I'm going to go out walking around in the city or not. I'm probably just going to stay in the hotel and chill."

Steve Ott, who has a 5-year-old daughter, said he was touched deeply by the death of 8-year-old Martin Richard in the blast.

"It's horrific. Obviously life doesn't make sense sometimes," Ott said. "... The stories that are coming out of that incident are just horrible."

The Sabres figure to enter an emotionally charged atmosphere Wednesday in TD Garden, with the eyes of the nation likely to be on pregame ceremonies.

"It's going to be a little bit overwhelming to start the game with heavy hearts just as people," Ott said. "It's extremely disheartening to hear and see. ... I'm sure there will be a lot of mixed emotions. ... Everyone is going to be playing with heavy hearts. It's going to be very touching to start the game."

Click below to hear audio from Gerbe, Ruhwedel and Ott.

Nathan Gerbe

Chad Ruhwedel

Steve Ott

Sabres determined to make it three straight wins; Vanek likely out again

By John Vogl

The Sabres are aware most people are counting them out. They still have faith in each other.

Buffalo has won two straight heading into Sunday's home game against New Jersey, and the players are eager to finish this season strong.

"It’s a big game for this group just to keep the momentum going," forward Nathan Gerbe said today after practice in First Niagara Center. "In the past in the season, we would lose this game. Now we’ve got to win it.

Continue reading "Sabres determined to make it three straight wins; Vanek likely out again" »

Morning skate updates: Thomas Vanek out, Ryan Miller back in

By Jay Skurski

Leading scorer Thomas Vanek will not play tonight when the Buffalo Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs in First Niagara Center, interim coach Ron Rolston said this morning.

Vanek was hit by a Christian Ehrhoff shot Tuesday night in the second period of the Sabres' game in Montreal.

"He's better today," Rolston said. "He feels, actually, good. We're starting the process, so we're hoping to get him on the ice tomorrow."

It looks like Vanek will be joined in the press box by forward Nathan Gerbe, who's expected to be a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

"I think he's working hard, but we have to make some tough decisions right now in our lineup," Rolston said of Gerbe. "I can only have 12 forwards in there and [he] was a player that I think didn't give us a reason to keep him in right now. And that's what he has to work for."

Burly forward John Scott is expected to be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past three games.

Ryan Miller will start in goal for Buffalo.

Ref got too physical with Gerbe

By Mike Harrington

One of the bizarre moments of the NHL's first week came last night when Sabres winger Nathan Gerbe -- in his first game back after summer spinal surgery -- took a cheap hit from Carolina's Drayson Bowman and then tried to get in a few words with Hurricanes forward Chad LaRose.

But referee Dan O'Hallaron got in the way -- and got physical with Gerbe as well. Something tells me the stripes wouldn't have done that to too many other players. Especially ones who aren't 5-foot-5. That's got to be a reprimand and/or a fine for O'Hallaron but you won't hear about that one publicly.

Continue reading "Ref got too physical with Gerbe" »

John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |