Play him more
All he has to do is outplay Hammer defensively or outplay Edler offensively. I don't see either happening. Which puts him bottom pairing with bottom pairing minutes.
Actually, Baggins is correct about where Ballard will play this season, however, giving the bottom pairing more ice time could make everyone happy.
1.) Fans of Ballard would be pleased as he will get an opportunity to play more and he can show what he's got. I do believe he is a good d-man who has the tools to succeed.
If he plays more, then he and his partner (likely Tanev) will be better able to perform over the course of the season. Also, there's a better chance that the other two defensive pairings will be fresher for any big games throughout the season and going into the playoffs, which should help overall team success.
2.) Non-fans of Ballard (I refer to the folks with an irrational dislike who just want Ballard gone) should be happy as well since playing him more (and assuming he does well which I believe is likely) means that he can raise his stock, as well as Tanev's. Should a trade opportunity come up then there is an increased chance that the other team will take Ballard, which should make these non-fans of Ballard happy, right?
Following the Canucks since before Don Cherry played here.