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A lot of people were critical of Andrew Alberts this past season, including many people who frequent this site. However, Alberts came over in a trade for a fourth-round pick and Ned Lukacevic. Lukacevic, since I'm sure very few of you have ever heard of him, was a former fourth round pick himself. He has spent his entire career bouncing between the ECHL and AHL, with his best year coming in 07-08 when he scored 17 goals and had 19 assists in 61 games. The Flyers did not give up much to get Alberts, nor did they expect much from him. In need of another defenseman while Randy Jones and Ryan Parent recovered from injury, Alberts was going to be a depth defenseman. He spent the entire season on the third defensive pairing as our #6 defenseman. Considering all of that, and his cap hit of only $1.22 million, the club could have done a lot worse.
With Alberts as the sixth defenseman, the team had a big, stay at home defenseman. He played against the worst competition of any defenseman (a -0.06 qualcomp rating) with the worst teammates (-0.10 qualteam rating), and he got the job done. A plus 6 on the year, the team scored 4 more goals than it gave up with him on the ice. Per 60 minutes of ice time, Alberts had the second best average on the team, behind only Luca Sbisa, with 2.29. Debate whether he should have been better, but he was not bad by any measure. He played against poor competition with poor teammates. He played the least per game of anybody with more than 22 games, yet still led the entire team in hits and had the third most blocked shots among defenseman. His one negative is that he had by far the worst giveaway-to-turnover ratio among the D. That's definitely a problem, one that cannot be glossed over except to say he was our 6th defenseman. Not a good enough excuse, but there's a reason he was our worst defenseman, right? That's why he was. Yet he still did a lot of other things well - mainly hitting, blocking shots, and playing on the penalty kill.
Most of this doesn't matter since he (almost certainly) won't be resigning with the team. However, I would not be opposed to having Alberts as this year's Lasse Kukkonen - someone to be a constant scratch who is capable of filling in if needed. Without him, our other above-average sized d-men (Parent and Braydon Coburn) need to start playing more physically. At this point, Alberts is little more than a trivia question in Philadelphia. But let's not lump him in the same category as Adam Burt, Dave Babych, and Chris McAllister.
After the jump, videos
Geno was off balance, but still.
Next up in our Grading the Flyers series: Danny Briere