Canucks Re-Sign Andrew Alberts

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.

  • pheenster

    Alberta is a very good return pick up for the Canucks. He comes back at a reasonable price, but most important is the continuity of the D-corps! This team is in transition from high flying scoring circus to a defensive responsible team. Having all the d-men returning will take a lot of pressure off a new coaching staff.

  • pheenster

    Actually, NM00 is right more often than he’s wrong. He just thinks he’s right all the time. The comedy is provided by the delta.

    For instance, his post above comparing current prospect depth to that of a few years ago. None of us (including him) have any idea how the current crop are going to turn out, and while the full tale hasn’t been told on them the status of Schneider, Edler et al is well known to everyone. Comparing the two is nothing but bluster and wild guesswork, leveraged to construct a strawman to further his unhealthy obsession with slagging Mike Gillis. I have that one snipped and saved for future deployment.

    • pheenster

      It’s amusing that you use a strawman in your post.

      Look up:

      https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

      The commenter and I are comparing prospect pools.

      Schneider, Edler, Bourdon (RIP), Grabner and Raymond were all prospects in 2006-2007.

      Look up what the industry was saying about these players.

      Compare it to what the industry is saying about the front 5 of the 2013-2014 Canucks farm system.

      If you have any evidence that the current 5 are considered significantly “better” than the 2006-2007 group, please share.

      Or you may continue your unhealthy obsession of using logical fallacies as your rhetorical devices of choice.

      • pheenster

        Dude, you’re doing it again.

        You’re doing the comparing for us. Please show us what “the industry” was saying about those players as that point in their careers so that we can do an apples to apples comparison. Right now, all we have is what you say “the industry” was saying about them. And please stay away from such generalities as “less well thought of”. I want to know what Bob McKenzie was saying about all 10 of them at the same point, so I can compare. What, you don’t have that information?

        I’m not misrepresenting anything. You are.

        • Mantastic

          http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/9863/canucks_top20_prospects_fall2007/

          http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/10093/hockeys_future_fall2007_organizational_rankings1120/

          Here’s a starting point.

          If you want to do further research than my Googling, go for it.

          Finally, go back and read my exchange with andyg and point out the strawman.

          I’m not doing the comparisons for you or anyone else. I gave my opinion on a previous prospect pool compared to the current one.

          Once again

          https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

          • pheenster

            Thanks for posting those links. Interesting reading. Unfortunately (wait for it) I don’t interpret the comparison the same way you do.

            The 2007 Fall rankings had the Canucks at 15th. I’ll be curious to see where their 2013 Fall rankings have them. In the Spring they were 27th but that was before Horvat, Shinkaruk, Subban and Eriksson.

            Here’s how I summarize their 2007 rankings:

            1. Schneider – blue chipper
            2. Edler – same
            3. Bourdon – same, with a couple of question marks
            4. Pat White – basically they’re asking who TF is this guy. A question still not answered.
            5. Grabner – a bunch of question marks. His status actually hasn’t changed that much; he’s had one good season 3 years ago and has basically dropped back into mediocrity since.
            6. Raymond – they seem to have been pretty high on him; not a blue chipper but close. Interesting how his career has paralleled Grabner’s in many ways. He had one good season (4 years ago) and has since sunk back into mediocrity. The main difference is that Grabner is making $3-million and Raymond can’t get arrested. Also interesting in that their points per game over the last 4 years is almost identical. An awful lot of Canucks fans cry about keeping Raymond and trading Grabner but by the numbers they’re pretty much the same player.

            They haven’t posted their Fall evals yet, but the team depth chart interestingly (there’s that word again) states “blue chippers at the top”. I’ll be very curious to see the Fall evals so we can do a true apples to apples comparison, but at this point it’s looking to me like a wash between the two prospect groups. It’s too bad I couldn’t find their numerical rankings for 2007 (maybe I missed them). EDIT: found them. Looks like the 2007 class wins 46.5 to 43.5. Like I said, pretty much a wash, and when you take it a little deeper in 2007 they had nine players rated 7 or higher and now they have 11. Interesting.

            In any case it looks to me like you posted a link to information that doesn’t back up your supposition.

          • JCDavies

            “Looks like the 2007 class wins 46.5 to 43.5. Like I said, pretty much a wash, and when you take it a little deeper in 2007 they had nine players rated 7 or higher and now they have 11. ”

            I have some pretty big doubts of the quality of the HF prospect rankings and scouting reports. I’m not sure that comparing those numbers tells us much. There are better places to find information IMO.

          • JCDavies

            Is there any evidence out there that HP, THN, McKenzie etc are any better than HF at prospect ranking/evaluation?

            I myself am not a huge fan of the hyperbole attached to some of these HF scouting reports.

            But it is free and you get what you pay for most of the time.

            Frankly, I don’t think using any one source is adequate.

            Using 3 or 4 of these sources to get a broader sense of the opinions on these prospects would be ideal.

            But Pheenster is more than capable of doing his own homework.

          • pheenster

            “I myself am not a huge fan of the hyperbole attached to some of these HF scouting reports.”

            Then why did you post HF scouting reports in support of your position?

            Dude, once more you’re blowing smoke. And contradicting yourself. And a bunch of other things.

            I’m on the record as stating that you’re right more often than you’re wrong. I’m considering correcting the record.

          • pheenster

            “In any case it looks to me like you posted a link to information that doesn’t back up your supposition.”

            And what supposition is that?

            I said I’d take the 2006-2007 group (which became the fall 2007 group since the spring 2007 group didn’t appear in my initial Googling) over the current group.

            “None of us (including him) have any idea how the current crop are going to turn out, and while the full tale hasn’t been told on them the status of Schneider, Edler et al is well known to everyone. Comparing the two is nothing but bluster and wild guesswork, leveraged to construct a strawman”

            Again, care to point out my strawman?

            A quotation would be much appreciated.

            It was a comparison of prospect pools with a footnote about trading Schneider to bolster the theoretical value of the farm system while diluting the quality of the NHL team.

            Which every NHL team has the ability to do, by the way.

            “You’re doing the comparing for us. Please show us what “the industry” was saying about those players as that point in their careers so that we can do an apples to apples comparison.”

            Care to point out where I’m doing the comparison for you?

            A quotation would be much appreciated.

            Finally, go ahead and compare the fall 2007 to fall 2013 group when the rankings are released.

            And by all means, don’t stop at HF. Go through Mackenzie, THN, HP etc.

            I’d also suggest looking at where the Canuck prospects rank industry wide amongst the top 50 or top 100 in the NHL.

            At best, the 2013 group will be right around the 2007 group.

            And that would be on the strength of an extra 1st rounder if Schroeder hasn’t lost his prospect status.

            Which would make your participation in this exchange completely unnecessary, wouldn’t it?

          • pheenster

            Hey buddy, I never said the 2013 class was better. You said they worse. You’re attacking an argument that I didn’t make.

            Gee, I wish there was a term for something like that.

          • JCDavies

            “Hey buddy, I never said the 2013 class was better. You said they worse.”

            Where did I say that?

            I gave a preference and even did some Googling for you since you are apparently incapable.

            It’s not hard to copy and paste from my posts, is it?

            Or perhaps it’s that you know you’re caught up in a dumb argument and are trying to dig your way out.

            Actually, that sounds about right.

          • pheenster

            Shockingly, the best quote you can come up with is my preference…

            Hilarious.

            Can you come up with a quote where I’m doing the comparison for you…

            Posting HF is so you can do a comparison if you want to investigate further.

            Which is not my responsibility, by the way. If you want to start an exchange, the burden of proof is on you.

            As I told JC, it’s always better to use more sources.

          • JCDavies

            And to what dumb statement are you referring?

            As usual, a quote would be appreciated.

            As for you…

            “For instance, his post above comparing current prospect depth to that of a few years ago. None of us (including him) have any idea how the current crop are going to turn out, and while the full tale hasn’t been told on them the status of Schneider, Edler et al is well known to everyone. Comparing the two is nothing but bluster and wild guesswork, leveraged to construct a strawman to further his unhealthy obsession with slagging Mike Gillis.”

            Which I’m quite sure you know is not what I was doing…

          • JCDavies

            Just suspicion, which is why I used words such as “doubts” and “in my opinion” instead of words that indicate more certainty.

            While I can appreciate what Hockey’s Future is trying to do, I do not believe that they have the staff and resources to do it. I do not believe that they actually scout many of the players they are ranking and if they are using someone else’s work they rarely, if ever, credit a source (I can’t recall ever seeing them do this). We have no idea where they are getting their information.

            Also, their failure to attach names to their scouting reports and team rankings or to explain their methodology, in my opinion, raises flags.

            “Using 3 or 4 of these sources to get a broader sense of the opinions on these prospects would be ideal.”

            I agree with this 100%. I just happen to believe that the other sources you mention are better than HF.

        • Mantastic

          not very hard to find out what Bob said about those 10 prospects by just looking at his past draft boards, there is a marvilous tool called the internet, which has amazing modules called search engines.

  • pheenster

    NM00 provides endless comedy.

    @Matt (#19) said it best when he noted he looks through feces-colored glasses. Says a lot but is usually all wrong.

    I like the Alberts signing and the price is oh so right. We don’t have too many D that will play rough with the opponent. Alberts is willing. He’s big and we need that back there too. Good signing.

    Also, no need to spend right to the cap. Let’s leave some flexibility.

    • pheenster

      “Says a lot but is usually all wrong.”

      Aside from overvaluing Edler’s trade value until Mantastic set me straight and, like many others, figuring Lou would be given away for a song, where have I been wrong?

      Grabovski?

      Tanev?

      Clarkson?

      Horton?

      Gordon?

      Luongo for Dipietro?

      Cap wizardry?

      Business wizardry?

      The underwhelming reset in general?

      I was also wrong on Alberts, by the way. I figured he, or someone similar, would be signed for 1 year and $1 million?

      So I’m glad the Nux got him lower than my guess.

      I’m wrong all the time. Just like everyone else.

      But I’ve been consistent since the playoffs ended for the Canucks that 5 years of poor transactions would catch up to Gillis and, by extension, the 2013-2014 roster.

      And, based on everything I’ve seen this offseason, I see little reason to believe the Canucks will do better than another 1st round exit.

      If trying to be realistic and logical is offensive, oh well.

      It doesn’t take much to tap into the insecurities of Canuck fans.

    • VC

      I would completely disagree with you. At 600-800k there would easily be takers for Alberts. Like he said in the article…Fishtix and Murray both got over paid, and I would also take Alberts over either of them.
      If you look at his stat line its actually quite good. Per 48 minutes he would lead the team in hits, 2nd in blocks, and 3rd in giveaways.
      Obviously he isnt playing against the best the opposition has, but it shows when he is on the ice he has an impact.
      We need big, physical, defensive defencemen, and Alberts fits that roll perfectly.

      • Mantastic

        Fistric and Murray both took discounts from their last contract. Alberts got roughly the same $ this year from last with the declining cap. there were obviously no suitors lining up for his services, that’s why he signed at league minimum this late in the summer.

      • pheenster

        Then why would Alberts stay on a team where he is probably 7th or 8th on the depth chart?

        I assume he’d prefer more money and, quite possibly, a bigger role over a 50% cut in pay.

        • JCDavies

          Maybe because he likes the organization, the city, and doesnt want to move his family?
          Not too hard to figure out. Do you really think he didnt get any other offers? Please.

  • VC

    I am a little perplexed at this “reset”. If the coaching change is all that Gillis believes was needed for the reset, he is drastically misguided.

    You can dress a pig up in a prom dress, at the end of the night, you still went to the prom with a pig, and I think that is what is going on here.

    From Brad Ziemer’s interview with John Tortorella:
    “we also have to be fighting for the puck on a more consistent level. And in the six,seven, eight games that I watched I don’t see it. That is a mindset, I don’t think it is about bringing in a bunch of guys that are going to fight. It’s more about an overall attitude about how we play. The team looked like it was pretty easy to play against at times in the tapes I watched.”

    Since the Stanley Cup run, this group of players have not performed with any heart or bite, as Torts calls it. I think in the grand scheme of things, it is within the dressing room that needs to change. I am sure that AV wanted bite and heart, you can’t coach bite and heart, you either have it or you don’t.

    In the Stanley Cup run, we had skill to compensate for the lack of grit, we have lost some of the skill, we haven’t added the grit.

    • VC

      “I am a little perplexed at this “reset”. If the coaching change is all that Gillis believes was needed for the reset, he is drastically misguided.”

      Honestly, what else could he do considering the mess he created?

      Aside from the fact that Schneider was traded instead of Luongo, the underwhelming reset was entirely predictable.

      That’s what happens when the GM keeps losing at the draft and losing significant trades.

      • andyg

        Not sure what drafts you have been watching.I have followed the Canucks for 37 years and even though Gillis has made some mistakes, we have more quality prospects in our system right now then we ever have.

      • VC

        Yes, you are right, the mess he has created sits with him and him alone. I believe a GM needs to make his moves like a chessmaster. His moves should always be 2 moves ahead of his end-game.

        Giving out NTCs like they were going out of style is mind-boggling. He also had options with Schneider and Edler during the summer and didnt make wise use of them.

        If it looked like he couldn’t get what he wanted for Lu, then he should have had a backup plan to get value by moving Schneider and Edler (before his NTC kicked in).

        We could have got a lot more from Schneider than we got. Not taking anything away from Horvat, but his worth is unclear at this point. Gillis, he continues to lose smart points with every move he makes.

        • VC

          The contract extensions to both Higgins and Burrows were market jumping overpayments.

          Higgins because of term and Burrows because of the AAV.

          An average team shouldn’t be locking up all of their players, maxing out their cap space in the process and inhibiting their potential for growth.

          Especially an older average team.

          Unless the goal is to prolong the mediocrity for the purposes of job security…

  • BrudnySeaby

    On the one hand, getting Tanev and Alberts for a combined $2.1 million is reasonable.

    On the other hand, this only leaves around $2 million to sign Grabovski.

    If the Canucks want to be pushed right near the cap ceiling, that is.

    The cap wizards better get to work.

    • VC

      Cap wizard here. If they have Horvat on roster opening day, and Booth is still injured so they place him on LTIR, they will have about $3.7M of space to sign Grabo.

      Of course, when Booth is healthy, they’d need to shed about $1.6M of space to be cap compliant. They can do this through assigning any two players to the AHL (although most players require waivers, so that’s a problem). They could of course make a trade. Or they could well have other players injured to push on to LTIR.

        • VC

          Since when is speculating about LTIR placements, especially when there is some evidence of injury, not an acceptable tool for rosterbation, which is an inherently speculative act? Especially when we’re talking about Gilman’s team!

          • VC

            It’s just not very realistic unless it’s something like the floorball injury Salo suffered a couple of years ago.

            Booth is merely a possibility to start the year on the LTIR.

            As far as we know, at least.

            If the roster is fully healthy, the Canucks have maybe $1 – $2 million to add another forward depending on how close to the cap they want to be to start the year.

            And that forward may just end up emerging from a training camp competition.

            There also aren’t any performance bonuses on Capgeek’s projected opening day roster.

            This was never a fit for Grabovski. Just like it was never a fit for Clarkson, Horton or Gordon.

            Unless some salary can be moved elsewhere, that is.

  • Mantastic

    Agreed, nice to have him back at a reasonable price. I’d take Alberts at 600k over Murray at 1.5 mil, or Fisty at 900k, any day. Really glad the Murray rumours were just that. Phew. I’m gonna go hug my Mom…well her urn. (just kidding.)