BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Sabres avoided arbitration by re-signing centre Nathan Gerbe to a three-year contract Wednesday.

Gerbe was eligible to become a restricted free agent after the team retained his rights by tendering him a contract offer. He had 16 goals and 15 assists for 31 points in 64 games last season — all career highs.

Gerbe found his stride down the stretch in scoring 15 goals in his final 40 games. He also set the franchise record for the fastest two goals, scoring 15 seconds apart in a 5-2 loss to the Islanders on Jan. 21.

He had two goals and four assists in 20 games over the previous two seasons in Buffalo.

Buffalo's fifth-round selection in the 2005 draft, Gerbe was the American Hockey League's rookie of the year in 2008.