On Monday morning, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that Phantoms’ forward Ned Lukacevic and a conditional fourth-round pick will head to the Boston Bruins, in exchange for bruising defenseman Andrew Alberts.
At 6-foot-4, 216 lbs., Alberts is a stay-at-home defenseman that plays with a physical edge. In his last full season, 2006-07, the 27-year old tallied 156 hits and 112 blocks, with 124 penalty minutes. Alberts missed 47 games last season after a strange hit from Flyers’ forward Scott Hartnell gave Alberts chronic headaches for the remainder of the season. Hartnell was suspended two games for the collision. Alberts will likely take over for Lasse Kukkonen, who had a noticeably unimpressive game in the Flyers’ opening loss against the New York Rangers.
Not a point producer by any means, Alberts simply beefs up a Flyers’ defense that has been trying to fill the physical void left by Darian Hatcher and Jason Smith. The trade also comes on the heels of news that injured defenseman Randy Jones will miss 12-14 weeks, rather than the 6-8 previously proposed.
Alberts is in the last year of a contract that owes him $1.25 million this season. If the Flyers choose to re-sign the brawny blue liner, the fourth-round pick would turn into a third-round pick for Boston.
Headed to Boston, Lukacevic had only a cup of tea with the Flyers, but showed some flash in prospect and rookie camp. One of the more poised and mature players on the ice, Lukacevic was a top-six forward on the Phantoms, but would likely never make it to the big club. Lukacevic was acquired with Patrik Hersley in the trade that sent Denis Gauthier to the Los Angeles Kings.