Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 07/15/09 at 09:09 PM ET
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes got their defensive defenseman. And they got the one that a lot of fans were clamoring for. Most importantly, they did it on the cheap.
The Canes signed 6’5” 218 lb blueliner Andrew Alberts to a two year deal worth a total of $2.1M. He’ll make $800k in 2009-10, which is a significant pay cut from 2008-09. In 2010-11, he’ll make $1.3M. The 28 year old Minneapolis native led the Flyers with 157 hits last season and he was third on that team with 133 blocked shots. He earned $1.4M last season, so this is an extraordinary signing at an extraordinary price. He’s exactly what the Canes need. I didn’t think they’d be able to afford it, but somehow JR convinced him to take a significant pay cut.
I’m totally shocked by the things that have transpired in the last two days. I thought the Kostopoulos deal was “good”. I think this is “outstanding”. It’s all quite surprising given that Jim Rutherford has never done much in the free agency market and promised this summer not to sign anyone until August.
Now that Alberts is in at a price lower than Seidenberg, it becomes significantly less important to straighten out that situation. Alberts is a bigger, meaner version of Seidenberg. Still, I would really like to see Seids brought back into the fold and Kaberle bought out. Actually, I’d like to see Kaberle bought out no matter what. He’s an albatross. At any rate, Jim Rutherford has said that he’s still looking for one more defenseman from free agency.
For whatever it’s worth, Alberts played three seasons with Carolina’s Patrick Eaves at Boston College. I’ve suggested that Patrick Eaves’ days are numbered with Carolina, but time will tell.
Alberts has worn the number 41 with both the Bruins and the Flyers. This won’t be a problem in Carolina. In eleven seasons, nobody has ever worn the number 41 for Carolina. To Correct an error from earlier, there were three Whalers who wore 41. Center Jim Culhane, defenceman Joe Day and defenseman Allen Pedersen. Either way, it’s available now. Have at it, Mr Alberts.
Carolina also announced the re-signing of 2006 draft pick Mike Angelidis, who is a left wing to a two-way deal. In addition, they signed 24-year old defenseman Zach Fitzgerald to a two-way deal. Fitzgerald has played one NHL game for Vancouver in 2007-08, and he’s spent the last two seasons with the AHL Manitoba Moose.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.