Mar 27, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA

Do the Buffalo Sabres Keep Tyler Ennis or Nathan Gerbe?

After another long and disappointing season in Buffalo, there are a lot of questions surrounding the Sabres future. The Sabres once again failed to qualify for the NHL’s second and most competitive season, leaving the future of many veteran players unknown. With Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford likely gone this offseason and the Sabres entering a rebuilding phase, it’s the perfect time for management to look through the roster and weed out who doesn’t belong.

Mar 27, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA

For a team that wanted to get bigger and tougher last offseason, Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis didn’t fit that mold. But they were

kept for their goal scoring abilities. Considering the 2013 “tough” Buffalo Sabres didn’t look so good, the team will be ditching that motto and heading in a different direction. The question becomes, do the Buffalo Sabres have room for both Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis? Gerbe burst onto the NHL scene in 2010, 5 years after the Sabres drafted the winger 142nd. He scored 16 goals and put up 31 points, not

all-star numbers but solid enough to earn Gerbe a spot on the third line. Last year saw his production plummet to just 6 goals and 25 points. People started questions why the Sabres need a 5 foot 5, third line winger who couldn’t score.This season has been another disappointment from the once prized prospect. He has just 5 goals and 10 points and has found himself demoted to the fourth line or in the press box most nights. He’s dropped behind Vanek, Ennis, Steve Ott and Marcus Foligno on the depth charts.

Tyler Ennis made his mark in 2010-2011 where he scored 20 goals and added 29 assists for 49 points. He was beat out for the Calder vote by teammate Tyler Myers, who also had his career year in 2010.

The Sabres drafted Ennis in the first round in 2008 and after his fantastic rookie season, he showed his skills and proved to be a player the Sabres could build around. Last season he battled an ankle injury which limited him to just 48 games but he still scored 15 goals and put up 34 points.

This season has seen a slight drop in production for Ennis who only has 10 goals but still is one of only 3 Sabres to have 30+ points. While his line from last season with Marcus Foligno and Drew Stafford is no more, Ennis has spent time on the first, second and third line this season.

Both Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe are spark-plugs for the Sabres offence. They bring emotion, play with heart and battle for every loose puck on every shift. They’re the type of third line players that teams win the Stanley Cup with. The only problem is they’re both under 6 feet, play the same style of game and there isn’t room for both on a successful team.

While both bring energy and their own uniqueness to the Sabres, Tyler Ennis brings more to the table and is more valuable. While the future for him at centre with the Sabres may not be long term, with players like Grigorenko and Larsson coming into the mix, he can always move over to the wing.

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Having a player like Ennis who can play both wing and centre is extremely helpful. You can move him up and down the line-up to find

chemistry or add that extra scoring punch. Ennis isn’t overly expensive and is a valuable tool for the Sabres during this re-build. If Vanek does decide to stay, Ennis can provide a secondary scoring threat after the first line. Nathan Gerbe is a more one-dimensional player. He can’t jump in and play centre if needed and has been stuck on the fourth line. He’s an expendable player, although he may be nice to have- he’s dead weight for a team that is trying to make the playoffs.

Tyler Ennis is younger, can produce consistently and fit into any role the Sabres require him to play. Although he’s only 5 foot 9, he’s not afraid to mix it up with the opposition. While Tyler Ennis will never be a star first-line player, he’s the perfect player to build a team around and is just what the Sabres need during their re-build.


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Nathan Gerbe Tyler Ennis

  • Robert Patrick Moscato

    The Sabres need to get bigger. Having said that I don’t think getting rid of someone like Nathan Gerbe or Tyler Ennis. Both players went out of their way to show opposing players they wouldn’t back down despite their size. if I had to choose one of the players I think Gerbe might get better in a trade. Maybe you could package both with Ryan Miller in a Trade. Then again maybe Gerber and Ennis size might prohibit fair trade value.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      They need to get bigger in a sense yes- but they also need to get smarter. They brought in John Scott and Adam Pardy to “toughen” up the team and it really didn’t work. I agree that Gerbe would be better in a packaged trade.

      • chas territo

        if you don’t play, you don’t get results. why did they get those two to let them languish on the bench? because the no-show, no-brain gm signed them!! i/we can make and show all kinds of reasons, but it starts with management, coaching, then players. nobody get ‘s a free pass. regier needs to be gone, black needs to be gone and then and only then do you think about rolston. i think he came into such a mess that any wins he coached should be closely looked at before firing or hiring someone else. did he do a good job, considering? i say yes. did he do enough to over come the doubt that he is deserving of the HC job? i don’t have that answer, do any of you?

    • Diane A Seeley

      Miller needs to stay in Buffalo, we have no other #1 goaltender. Yes Enroth is good but not as our franchise goaltender

  • chas territo

    keep vanek, gerbe, trade ennis, too small,light in the as*, pushed around. not big where it counts like gerbe. my opinion, nothing more to say at this time about our weak,uninspired, lackluster, i could go on and on, team!!

    • Dusty Kibbs

      check out the stats, if he is getting pushed around so much why is he 3rd in points lead the team in assists. Gerbe is a little tough guy but he doesnt produce 10 points not gonna cut it.

      • chas territo

        my reason for gerbe is his heart. ennis does score more, agreed. my thinking is based upon innate toughness, gerbe has it, ennis doesn’t. if this crap trap of a team ever got it together, i believe a gerbe type would be more important than an ennis type. we would have more scorers and gerbes place would be more relevant than a scorer who only scores. that’s everything i have to say. my opinion, nothing more. you have every right to yours and honestly, you made a good point. we differ, thats all.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Gerbe has all kinds of heart no doubt and that’s what a championship team needs is a player like Gerbe. But he hasn’t been able to find his grove and at this point in time is nothing more than a 4th liner on the Sabres.

        • Diane A Seeley

          There are other players that need to go. Ennis and Gerbe are okay, Gerbe could be another Marty St Louis he is a tough bugger but if I had a choice of which one to keep it would have to be Ennis.

  • Mark Huss

    I completely agree with you. I have been saying all year that Gerbe needs to go. You put it perfectly “he’s dead weight”.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Glad you agree. At this point he’s just eating up time and money on the 4th line. He needs more time or a different team to get him to play up to his potential.

  • Greg

    Keep Vanek and Ennis. Trade Miller, Gerbe, and Stafford.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      That would pretty much be the perfect scenerio for the Sabres. I truly hope Vanek wants to stay and will stay but we could get a solid return for him if he decides to move on.

    • Diane A Seeley

      And who do we have to replace Miller? You Miller bashers are not thinking, Miller is a great goaltender and we need to put a hard driving team in front of him. He is not our problem.

  • coug56

    I would be happy seeing them keep all of them but Stafford. Gerbe would be a great veteran to have in Rochester. Miller is still an above average goal tender, that has not had a history of injuries. He could easily have 6-7 more years in him like Hasek. Vanek should stay if he’s willing. I would love to see Buffalo bring find a couple more honest to god centers and let Ennis move back to the wing. If the Foligno experiment works, he could be our big center. But we all fell in love with Ennis’s creativity when he came up as a winger… I think he would be a standout if he gets moved back there.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I like your idea of sending Gerbe to Rochester to 1. develop his own game and 2. be a veteran guy. I’m just not sure about his contract and waivers. I would love for Miller to stay- I really would but It’s not going to happen. Vanek is someone I see potentially staying. Ennis has so much creativity and great vision- put him in the right spot and he’ll be fine.

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