Speaking via cell phone, Andrew Alberts answered questions about his re-signing with the Boston Bruins.
"It feels good," said Alberts, who could be heard letting out a contented breath. "It feels good to get it done."
The former Boston College Eagle, and Minnesota native, explained that Boston has been good to him and he is excited to stay in his adopted home.
"I wanted to stay with the Bruins," said Alberts, who was a restricted free agent. "They wanted me and I wanted to be there.
"And we wanted to get it done right away."
Alberts, who recently represented the United States in the IIHF World Championships, said that his signing allows him to "concentrate on next year" as the Bruins look to improve upon their record and make some inroads towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The 6'4 D-man indicated that nobody in the room felt comfortable about the team missing the playoffs.
"I think that we all have had higher hopes over the last couple of years," said Andrew, who pointed to an improved and more static roster as evidence of positive momentum going into 2007-08. "But Peter (Chiarelli) did a good job of bringing in the guys he wanted to bring in last year.
"And this coming year, we've got all the guys that he wants and…I think that we will have a good core to start the year."
Beyond his desire to stick with his Black & Gold teammates, Alberts, who is set to enter into his third NHL season, believes that playing in Boston has a special allure.
"Obviously, it's an Original Six franchise," said Alberts. "Going to BC I watched a ton of Bruins games.
"(As far as living) in Boston, the last couple of years have been great.
"I couldn't ask for a better place to sign," he said.
Like the Bruins, the already useful defenseman looks to improve during the coming campaign.
"With the veteran 'D' we had this year I learned a lot," said Alberts. "Like having patience and poise with the puck.
"Defensively, I watched (Zdeno) Chara play a lot and I talked to (Aaron Ward) and Andy (Ference).
"Just picking their brains has done a lot for me as far as learning the mental part of the game and positioning-wise," he said.
Alberts has already begun his off season regimen in the hopes of improving his already formidable stamina and strength.
"I've taken some steps the last couple of years to get better," said Alberts. "And I just have to keep getting better."
No doubt Alberts, and the rest of the Boston NHL contingent, is on their way to doing just that.