The deal will pay Gerbe $550,000 in the NHL and $150,000 in the American Hockey League, with a guarantee of at least $250,000.
"Nathan has had success on the NHL level and should compete for a job with the Hurricanes during training camp," Carolina vice president of hockey operations Ron Francis said in a statement announcing the signing.
Gerbe, 26, had five goals and 10 points averaging 12:30 of ice time in 42 games for the Buffalo Sabres last season. The 5-foot-5, 178-pound forward, who was selected in the fifth round (No. 142) of the 2005 NHL Draft, spent his first five seasons in the League with the Sabres.
"Something that drives me and fuels me is being a player who's tough to play against," Gerbe told the Raleigh News & Observer on Friday. "Get out on the ice, get rolling get the energy going and help my team any way I can. It’s going to be different playing for another team but I’m fired up to get down there."
The Sabres placed Gerbe on waivers July 3 and bought out the final year of his contract for one-third the cost of his salary. He was set to make $1.85 million this season and will get $616,605, according to Capgeek.com.
The newspaper said Gerbe had spinal surgery in July 2012 and was cleared for contact just prior to the start of the 2012-13 NHL season.
“My recovery from surgery took about seven months," Gerbe said. "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."
He has 29 goals and 43 assists in 188 NHL games and has appeared in nine Stanley Cup playoff games, totaling three goals and four points.