— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) August 22, 2013
As the sun rose on this beautiful late-August Thursday in Vancouver, and we enjoyed our morning coffee, we figured that there were still some serious questions surrounding the current state of the the hometown team’s back-end. While there were technically 6 defenseman under contract, the prospect of having two of those guys play regular minutes throughout the entire season surely left even the biggest optimist feeling uneasy.
Just a few hours after news broke that Chris Tanev had accepted a 1-year deal (worth $1.5 million), there are reports that the team has decided to bring back hulking veteran defenseman Andrew Alberts (paying him $600k for 1 season). You can now breathe easy and enjoy this glorious weather with your loved ones, guys and gals.
We’ll have some analysis on the deal after the jump.
This move will do nothing to appease the fans that have been vocal about how boring a summer it has been. Nobody is taking their kids to the rink to watch Andrew Alberts play, that much is for sure.
But you know what? I don’t mind it one bit. Back in June, we ran a series on this platform in which we laid out the team’s biggest needs. One of those was clearly on the third pairing, where they’d have a hole once Free Agency got underway. That’s mostly because people just figured that Alberts was gone (I figured this line of thinking was a tad bit premature at the time).
Here’s what I wrote in that piece:
"Ideally, for this particular position, you want a player who won’t really hurt the team or take too much off of the table. And we know that Alberts can fill that role, at least somewhat effectively even if he’s not particualrly good at zone-exits. He’s the prototypical stop-gap. If he’d like to sign back on for a year or two at just over a million a season, I wouldn’t be throwing my hands up in outrage. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know, right?"
Alberts certainly has his flaws, but for 600k as a 7th or 8th defenseman that is reliable and can fill in when need be (because injuries will inevitably happen) is a value. He made $1.225 million over the past 2 seasons, so he clearly took a hometown discount of sorts to stay where he was comfortable.
When evaluating this deal, just keep in mind that the Anaheim Ducks recently gave ‘Former Vancouver Giants Great’ Mark Fistric $900k, and the Montreal Canadiens dished out $1.5 million for Douglas Murray. I like Alberts more than both of those guys in a vacuum, let alone for a cheaper price.