Nathan Gerbe is one tough cat, who looks like a gerbil, has the name to match, and is about as tall. In fact, Gerbe (actually pronounced “Grr-bee”), at 5’6” is the shortest player currently in the NHL.
That is Gerbe’s current claim to fame, along with a mention in a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode.
The episode saw a bereaved couple covering up the death of their infant son, whom they had named “Nathan” based on the father’s love for hockey and an implication that Gerbe had led the Sabres in PIM one season.
There are, of course, a few things wrong with that:
1) If you’re going to name a baby after a hockey player, you name him Wayne, Gordie or Mario. You don’t name a kid after a player who at the time of your baby’s birth could have easily become a career AHLer.
2) Why would the Law & Order writers choose to include such a random tidbit? I mean, fine, name the kid Nathan, but it’s not as if it’s that uncommon of a name to warrant some kind of weird, convoluted backstory. And, if that weren’t enough…
3) …Gerbe never actually led the Sabres in PIM, not even close. Geez, how did these parents ever make it out of the episode unarrested with so many holes in their story?
Still, a research mistake of that nature can definitely play to Gerbe’s favor. He already plays with an edge. Maybe he really is that vicious. He must have tough skin, at the very least, having to deal with all the short jokes, right?
I mean, if David Desharnais can make fun of you, you’re definitely more likely to either be in elementary school or the Smurfs’ live-action movie than the NHL.
In addition, you know what they say about gerbils, right? The fiercest member of the animal kingdom. If not, you heard it here first.