Then and Now: Andrew Alberts

Image courtesy of Forsythe and the Flyers

Scott Hartnell often flirts with dirty play on the ice, but it doesn’t result in much more than trash talk or an action to irritate his opponent.

Over the span of his 13-year professional career, the left winger has only been suspended once. In a game against the Boston Bruins on November 26, 2007, one of Beantown’s defensemen dropped to their knees to make a play on the puck near the boards. With the defender on his knees, Hartnell checked the blue liner which resulted in the defenseman’s head being slammed into the glass. Hartsy received a two-game suspension for his hit on future Flyer Andrew Alberts.

After he finished out the 2007-2008 season with the Bruins, Alberts was shipped to the Flyers early the next season. On October 13th, 2008, Alberts became a Flyer while Ned Lukacevic was dealt to Boston along with a conditional pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, with which the Bruins selected forward Lane MacDermid.

For $1.4 million, Alberts was a serviceable defenseman who posted his highest offensive total for a season in his lone year with Philly. In addition to his career-high 12 assists, Alberts ended a 163-game goalless streak in a Flyers’ 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 10th, 2009 that was the longest goal drought by an active NHL player at the time. The tally was the first time Alberts found the back of the net since March 12th, 2006 (go to 3:34).

Thanks to NHL Video

On top of his offensive stats, Alberts also lead the team in hits with 157 and finished third on the team in blocked shots with 133.

The defenseman recorded one assist in the 2009 playoffs, as the Flyers fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. He had the primary assist on Jared Ross’ goal in the third period of Philly’s 6-3 Game 3 win.

In the summer of 2009, Alberts left the Flyers to join the Carolina Hurricanes. Although he signed a two-year contract with the Canes, he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks at the 2010 trade deadline.

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During his 62-game stint with the Hurricanes, the blue liner registered two goals and eight assists along with 74 PIMs and a plus-7 rating. Not only did Alberts have a pair of two-assist games with Carolina, he was involved in a scrap with Ian Laperriere when he faced the Flyers.

Alberts was then traded to Vancouver in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, with which the Canucks picked American defenseman Austin Levi.

In Vancouver, Alberts added on another goal and an assist in 14 regular season contests for the Canucks. The three goals during the 2009-2010 season for Alberts set his career high for goals in a season.

In the 2010 playoffs, the Canucks knocked off the Los Angeles Kings in a six-game Western Conference Quarterfinals’ match-up before they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six the following round. Alberts participated in 10 of the playoff games and posted the primary assist on Steve Bernier’s goal in the Nucks’ 7-2 Game 5 victory over the Kings.

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For the 2010-2011 season, Alberts stayed with the Canucks as part of the two-year deal he signed with the Hurricanes the year before. Instead of making $800,000 like he did in 2009-2010, Alberts made $1.3 million in 2010-2011.

The defenseman was limited to 42 games during the 2010-2011 campaign, as he missed 33 regular season games and five postseason games due to a shoulder injury and a broken wrist.

On top of his goal and six assists, Alberts was involved in a pair of altercations with two current Flyers during the 2010-2011 season. The first came on October 15th, 2010, as the defender dropped the gloves with future Flyer Wayne Simmonds in a Kings’ 4-1 win. The second came when Vancouver rolled over Philly 6-2 late in December of 2010 and Jody Shelley punched Alberts in the face when the defenseman had no intention of fighting Philly’s enforcer.

Thanks to HockeyFightsDotCom

Although he missed some of the 2011 playoffs, Alberts took part in nine contests, as he went pointless with six PIMs and a minus-8 rating. He played in six of the seven games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.

In the summer of 2011, Alberts signed another two-year contract where he would make $1.225 million each season.

The defenseman played in just 44 games during the 2011-2012 season, which is his lowest total since Hartnell knocked him out for the majority of the 2007-2008 season. He posted three points in those games, two of which were a pair of his first and only game-winning goals in the NHL to date.

His first came in Vancouver’s 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks in California on November 26th, 2011, as he potted the decisive tally halfway through the middle stanza (go to 1:43).

Thanks to NHL Video

His second came on March 30th, when the Canucks beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 in Vancouver.

Thanks to CanucksHD

Alberts will return to the Canucks for the 2012-2013 season, as the 31-year-old blue liner will endure his fifth consecutive season with Northwest Division squad.