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by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years.  Click here to send him an email.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier spoke to the media today and the topics were all prospects, all the time.

Regier opening comments circled around newly signed defenseman Chris Butler, who's coming off a solid season with the University of Denver.

The most interesting part of the conversation was Regier's thoughts on Nathan Gerbe.

Gerbe, 20, is an American-born prospect who the Sabres drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.  At the time, some people scoffed at the pick; believing the pivot's diminutive size (5'6'' 160 lbs.) was lacking the physical tools necessary to play at the NHL level.

Oh, how opinions have changed.

Gerbe led the nation in scoring, led his Boston College Eagles to the NCAA hockey championship and finished as a runner up for the Hobey Baker Award.  His performance during the Frozen Four was nothing short of dominating: five goals and eight points in two games.

"I sent him a text message after the game, saw his interview, and obviously, saw the results of the National Championship," Regier said.  "We're very proud for him and of him."

As for contract talks ...

"We do [expect to more towards contract talks]," said Regier.  "We're going to talk to his family advisor to see if there's an interest in having him turn pro.   It's something that we will pursue."

If you're unfamiliar with Gerbe's style of play, Regier gave a brief synopsis.  

"A lot of our scouting staff really liked him and saw him a lot when he was with the national program," said Regier.  "The thing that stood out with him, first and foremost, is his competitiveness.  He's a fearless player.  He's not a big player but he's a little bit like the Energizer bunny.  He gets knocked down, he gets right up.  He keeps going.

"He's very strong for his size and what we've seen over his time at Boston College is his continued development at the skill level.  

He's now, certainly more than he was when we drafted him, is a scorer."

For your viewing pleasure, a couple of YouTube clips that you may or may not have already seen, including "The Penalty Shot."

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