He’s only 5'4" but he doesn’t play like it
Nathan Gerbe is not only the shortest player in the NHL, he’s very nearly the shortest in the history of the league. At 5'4", Gerbe is listed at one inch taller than former Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Americans goalie Roy Worters, who played his final game more than two decades before goaltenders started wearing masks, which might as well be ancient history.
Despite his small stature, Gerbe has enjoyed a long career in the NHL. He made his debut in 2008 and has played 422 career games. But before this season his last substantial NHL playing time came in 2016, after which he went to Switzerland and then the AHL. The 32-year-old is back in the NHL this season, though, playing with the Blue Jackets.
Last night’s Blue Jackets-Flyers game was a perfect example of why Gerbe has been able to stick around in the league for so long. He may be small, but he doesn’t play like it.
Near the end of the second period, Gerbe leveled Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux with a massive body check. Giroux’s teammate Travis Sanheim, who stands 6'3", rushed to his defense and confronted Gerbe. The two started tussling and before long the fight was over.
With Gerbe on top of Sanheim, raining down blows.
If you pay close attention, you can see that Gerbe was actually the one to start the fight. Sanheim just grabbed him. It was Gerbe who threw his gloves off first and started throwing punches.
This was actually the second time in the span of a month that Gerbe challenged a much bigger guy to fight. During a game against the Devils, Gerbe tangled with New Jersey defenseman Damon Severson. The two locked up and once again it was Gerbe who threw the first punch.
That’s the kind of guy I’d like to have on my team.
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