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CanucksJay

What to do with Keith Ballard

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If we sign Doan and really need to get under the cap, we'll have to trade him.

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I think sometimes a player doesn't fit in. I think keith is a great guy . He would be a valuable asset in a different situation. Perhaps we can get something for him but most GMs see we are in a weak position when it comes to trading him so they wont offer much.

I wish Keith the best and if he stays here I hope he breaks through . He's earned it.

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Unless we bring in some players in a Luongo trade that would restrict us cap-wise then I'd say keep him. Obviously he brings great mobility and physicality to the backend but his defensive game looked really polished in the series with LA. He seems to have adjusted to 3rd pairing minutes and he overall looks more comfortable in my opinion. If we happen to go down with injuries either Ballard or Tanev can jump up in the top 4 if need be. I'd be happy with a bottom pairing of Ballard - Tanev or even Ballard - Alberts depending on the opponent we play. Or maybe we can grab a guy like Kubina from the market if he comes cheap.

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Give him a shinny tin badge so he can roam the front of the net as sheriff Ballard

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Sell him for meat

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Ballard wasn't being used as an offensive weapon because there is a pecking order and Ballard was pretty low on it.

Add into the equation the fact that he faced a lower quality of competition than any of our other defenders (yes, even lower than Gragnani) last season and you have a two-pronged assault on his career called 'misuse' and 'mistrust.'

Even though the Salo departure opened up a top-4 spot for Ballard, we signed Garrison instead. That should pretty much close the book on Ballard's days as a Canuck.

The thing is that he is not useless. If we run a three-line attack system rather than a 'top-6, shutdown, plug' system, then Ballard could start to be used where he'd be effective again. Two problems with that though; First off, we don't have Sid, Geno and Staal up the middle. Second, we've tried a three-line attack system before and that didn't work as well for us. (Probably because we tried it with Kyle Wellwood instead of Jordan Staal.) We currently don't have the forwards that can keep the puck in the offensive zone enough to take the pressure off guys like Ballard. And that makes his cap hit brutal.

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His cap hit doesn't look all that bad anymore, with the ufa signings this offseason. His value has gotten a lot higher. We can get a 3rd or a 2nd from a team like Edmonton.

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I like him! Keep him he's a good guy skates like the wind and I think is really coming out of a perhaps extended adjustment period with a specific albeit lesser role to play for the Canucks. I know his cap hit sucks yadda yadda yadda, but if it all fits under the salary cap who cares how much he makes really, someone thought he was worth that much.

who exactly would be better to replace him with? If we aren't upgrading and aren't in cap trouble no reason to sell him for peanuts.

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What are Keith Ballard’s greatest attributes and flaws?

CDC used to say that Keith Ballard was poorly used by AV and was more upset at AV and his love affair for Rome than Keith Ballard. Somewhere along the way, this idea changed and people are leaning towards trading Ballard and throwing him in all types of trade proposals from Luongo to Raymond, etc. Has this change come from the realization that AV will never play him so we might as well get something for him? OR, is his play actually poor where we don’t want him on the team anymore?

I feel that his upside is so much more than his current value that trading him might not be in the best interest of the team.

If used correctly, I see Ballard as a good skating , puck moving d-man who is probably the best Canuck d-man to skate the puck up the ice. (Much like Ehrhoff)

He has a great ability to throw timely hip checks. Defense wise, he is a poor man’s Salo. His positioning is usually solid but he is not the best at handling a big man along the boards. Gets caught on random dekes (Like Edler).

His contract might not be a bargain but it’s not bad either.

Am I missing something?

I think the only reason why we should trade him is if we can get a significant upgrade on defence via trade. He shouldn't be a throw in on a deal or a cap dump.

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Ballard's cap hit makes him look a lot worse than he actually is. He's no $4 million defensemen, but I'm still quite comfertable with him as our 5th/6th, and I believe he's our best option for that position.

If we do end up needing the cap room, a team with lots of space like Dallas, Edmonton, or NYI would likely take him, though I suspect not for much.

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Ballard wasn't being used as an offensive weapon because there is a pecking order and Ballard was pretty low on it.

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In my opinion he brings alot:

Pros:

- Great Skater; the best on our Blueline

- Good shot blocker; lead the league in Shots Blocked in 09-10

- Good Hockey sense/IQ; He can make good plays, and knows when to jump into the rush or get more involved in the play

- Passing; Good passer

- Checking; He has the big hip check of course but I think he is also a good hitter normally aswell, even though he is a bit undersized.

- Toughness/Grit; He isn't Kevin Bieksa but he is gritty, not afraid to drop the gloves and stand up for teammates, he's also very durable.

- Defensive game; I think he is very good in one on one situations, I didnt see him get beat one on one in the playoffs and he really was solid defensively.

- The Tanev Pairing; Him and Chris have formed a good pair, which not only helps Ballard but also help Tanev with his maturation and development.

Cons:

- Inconsistency; He has struggled at times and been great at times, I'm still confident he can find consistency

- Offensive ability; I think it is better than he has shown here, but during his time here he hasn't show that offensive ability I think he has.

- Descision making/risk taking; He does sometimes take risks he doesnt need too, or makes bad descisions, but so does Bieksa, and that was an area Ballard improved in this year so I think he can fix it up

There may be more I haven't got to but this is how I think he is, I'm still confident he can play the way he did and in the Playoffs and if so him and Tanev will make a very good, Reliable 3rd pair.

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Ballard gets underrated these days, his cap hit these days is now good and he was arguably our best D man in the playoffs and he had a good season with us. We keep him, we can use him and he's a solid guy to put into the top 4 when injuries happen and him and Tanev have great chemistry together and make a great pairing.

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Good assessment. Solid Dman whose contract isn't that bad for a 3rd line defenseman anymore compared to this years free agent pool. It would be actually actually considered almost normal, and not to mention that he technically is a second pairing defenseman who is playing on the third pairing

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Yeah did Rome and Alberts get time above him? I mean come on..

All Rome jokes aside, I know he had a goal scoring streak for a little bit but Ballard is much better.

I dont know why AV never gives Ballard PP time, he's speed could be a real asset on the breakout and I think he has good offensive hockey IQ, I always think of that shift he and Edler had in game 7 vs the Hawks and I believe it wasn't just a fluke and that is that good offensively, with his passing/playmaking smarts and such.

AV should give him some times there.

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Send him to another system that will let him play and let us get someone cheaper. 7 points a season isn't that hard to come by.

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Because both Edler and Hamhuis are better than him. When he was given PP time he had trouble holding the line and was guilty of attempting pinches he had no hope of winning. Which is why, when it came down to it, AV put Rome out there ahead of him. At least Rome was decent holding the line and played a safe game.

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