WHO IS THIS GUY?
Born: June 30, 1981 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Weight: 218 pounds. Looks bigger than that in real life.
Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent
2012-13 cap hit: $1,225,000
History: Was drafted 179th overall in round 6 by the Boston Bruins in 2001.
WHAT DID HE DO?
With the great Aaron Rome let go to free agency in the summer of 2012, Alberts finally got more of a shot at cracking the top 6. Historically, with Vancouver's depth on defence, Alberts often found himself on the outside looking in. That did not change much this past season. Alberts was always on a short leash. In 2012-13 Alberts played 24 games out of a possible 48 games. He registered 1 assist. He was a -7. He had 32 penalty minutes. 6 of those were minor penalties. He received a couple of misconduct penalties in there as well. He blocked 31 shots, which was 7th-best on the team, and he only played half the games.
SO, WAS HE ANY GOOD?
I would say "yes". From a fan perspective, I thought he played a responsible, simple game in general. I can remember a time when I would sweat a lot when Alberts would handle the puck in his own zone. He was prone to turnovers. He was also injury-prone and took a lot of dumb penalties. I thought he went out and did his job this past season better than he had before. For the most part. He cracked down on boneheaded minor penalties. He blocked shots to a better degree than most Canucks did. I thought his breakout passes were better.
On a team where the majority of the defencemen love to pinch in and be a part of the scoring, I really like guys like Andrew Alberts, who clean up in their own end and keep it simple. Lunch pail guys.
COOL, SO WHAT DID WE HATE?
That's a tough one. I didn't really hate what I saw from Alberts. At least, not until I researched his stats. The stats reminded me of something that pissed me off not only about Alberts, but the team in general: HITS.
For a man of Alberts' stature, I expect more than 39 registered hits in 24 games from him. Remember this?
Damn it. Where did the nasty Alberts go? He's turning into Marek Malik for f***'s sakes. The friendly giant.
Nobody is going to like Alberts' -7 rating either. That is worst on the team, tied with Zack Kassian and Dale Weise.
Looking at Alberts from advanced statistics point of view, he was forgettable. Corsi. Corsi Relative Quality Of Competition. Decent in the Corsi QOC. The team did not score much when he was on the ice. Strangely, Dan Hamhuis was the only defenceman who had a worse average (goalie / team) save percentage when he was on the ice. Alberts has a lower PDO than most Canucks, which means he is probably better than he was in 2012-13 statistically. Or whatever. I'm not going to Corsi school so **** you!
SO, WHAT NOW?
Unrestricted free agent on July 1 unless the Canucks re-sign him. Alberts has beastly size but doesn't use it enough. Would a new coach redirect him? Yes. Is Mike Gillis going to keep him because he wants the Canucks to be bigger? I don't know. All I know is that with the Canucks needing to trim cap space, Alberts' $1,225,000 contract that he had is too much given his role here. Alberts would need to take a pay cut, which I am assuming he won't.
I guess I just answered my own question.