The team’s advertising slogan tells us that We Are All Canucks.

Well, Andrew Alberts is a Canuck, but acknowledges that at times during this highly frustrating season, he hasn’t always felt like one.

It’s not that his teammates or coaches have treated him badly. It’s just that it’s hard when you almost never get to play.

“Yeah, the guys try to do a good job of trying to include you in everything,” Alberts said Thursday. “But obviously it’s different. Game days, you aren’t around the guys as much and you are in the gym a lot more, but it’s just part of the business. You take it day by day, come in with a good attitude and work hard and hope you get back in.”

Friday night, Alberts finally gets his chance. With fellow defenceman Alex Edler out indefinitely with a knee injury, Alberts will return to the lineup when the Canucks meet the Phoenix Coyotes at Rogers Arena.

Needless to say, he can’t wait.

“I’m really excited, It has been a long way back here and it’s frustrating not playing,” Alberts said. “But the coaches have done everything possible to get me ready and I’ve just got to perform.”

Alberts has played just three games this season. And when he has played, he hasn’t played much, averaging just 4:16 of ice time.

There will be some nerves when he steps out onto the ice for Friday night’s game.

“I will try and get a bump in right away and obviously that calms you down a little bit,” he said. “It’s just about making simple plays. I’m playing with Garry (Jason Garrison) and he’s a good player so I’m sure he will help me.”

Alberts, who took a 50-per-cent pay cut to sign with the Canucks this season for $600,000, knew he would have to fight for his ice time. But he wasn’t expecting this.

“I weighed my options with what I had and I figured I wanted to go back where I know the situation and and I know the guys, I know the team, Mike (Gillis) and Laurence (Gilman) and everybody. I can’t tell you if it was the right decision, but we’re here now and I’m just trying to get in some games.”
A recent addition his family has helped Alberts get through this season. He and his wife Kelly had their first child back in September, a boy named Jackson.