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CanucksJay

What to do with Keith Ballard

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For a man drafted 11th overall he has moved around a lot, Buffalo to Colorado, Colorado to Phoenix, Phoenix to Florida, and then Florida to Vancouver where to next who knows, but just knowing the fact alone that he can't stick with a club tells a strong story for the man and his career. I think he's a great hitter and a exciting one at that, but we got D men who can do that now. I don't think he has much left to give or to show us any more, if he hasn't found his game in two years then there's no real hope he will start now. As I see it get a draft pick, plug his hole with a prospect ready to make the jump and hope for the best.

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He'll play around 15 to 18 minutes a game as usual with Tanev who's numbers should be around the same. Right now we can't afford to lose any more depth on defence because if Muller and Joslin have to play at any stage in the playoffs this team will not win a Cup.

We need another 2 depth defenceman in case of injuries. Let's just say Hamhuis suffers a concussion and Bieksa injures his leg again:

Edler - Garrison

Ballard - Tanev

Alberts - Joslin

Ballard's importance skyrockets.

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Raymond had his share of benchings, sitting in the pressbox, and being moved to the 4th line at times. The fact that he saw any top 6 time is a testament to AV's patience with him and proclivity in giving opportunities to his players in hopes of getting them going. Raymond, much like Ballard when given these opportunities don't show the consistency warranted to keep them in those top spots, in place of more deserving and other relatively consistent personnel.

Which goes back to what I was saying before.....these players earn their ice-time and are put on the bottom pairings or the bottom 6 for very good reasons that seem to escape many of fellow CDC'ers.

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Can you honestly tell me that AV has treated all the players he's had in his tenure here equally and fairly?

His obvious favouritism is sickening and often hinders our chances of winning (ex: the amount of chances Raymond gets).

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I would keep him. He makes mistakes in our end but no more than Edler does and he also has a great hip check. Yes he is a wee bit on the expensive side....right now...but the way that the contracts have been going up (see Suter), his contract is going to start looking pretty decent soon. He is also good enough to move up if one of the top 4 dmen go down to injury.

We have enough offensive dmen and I really think that Ballard has to concentrate on being the guy who put defense first. Bieksa did that when Hamhuis arrived and turned his game around....but with the departure of Hoff, he was expected to make up for Hoffs offensive production. Then AV did a really stupid move...he put Edler and Bieksa on the ice as a pairing and they failed miserably...why?.....because both of them were jumping up on the play instead of one of them playing the 'Hamhuis' role of staying back and covering.

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When Raymond didn't come out of it what happened? Has was moved to the 3rd line. Then the fourth line. Then spent a few in the pressbox. So where's the "favoritism"?

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I don't understand how people say he's being used incorrectly. How else should he be used? The man simply sucks at playing the right side and says himself that he's not comfortable there. Is it AV's fault to play Hamhuis and Edler ahead of Ballard?

And as for PP time, Ballard is great at skating, but he's not so great at getting shots through. Isn't that really more important than skating in PP time? I wouldn't rate Ballard over Bieksa, Edler, Salo or even Hamhuis at quarterbacking our PP. Not saying Ballard is below average with his vision and hockey sense; just saying the other guys are better at it. We have been one of the most successful PP team in the last two years (the dip in second half of last year happened to ALL teams by the way, because penalties just weren't being called - decreased by average of 3 penalties per night).

Notice how Ballard is being used on 4-on-4? A situation which actually benefits great skaters (which is why Raymond is used in these open ice situations as well).

I think AV prefers to have a very reliable third pair, rather than a high-risk/high-reward player like Ballard, who likes to skate up and join the rush and often get caught deep in the O-zone. He's a great skater, sure, but AV would prefer to have a big guy that can play positionally sound D. This is problematic, because Ballard is sort of stuck behind Hamhuis and Edler.

The reason why Ballard stays a third pair on the Canucks next season (if he does) will only be because his trade value is at all time low. Really, if you were the GM of another team, what would you offer for Ballard given his production in the most recent years?

I don't hate Ballard, but I think if you look at his skill set, and objectively evaluate his pros and cons, he just doesn't fit well with the Canucks.

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All good points and comments for sure everybody.

I agree with most. He is best on the left. He is behind Elder and Hammy in ability and ice time.

So the third pair makes most sense with Tanev.

He came in overpaid. 4.2 mil that first year was too much. Can't blame him for that too much. He was offered a contract (by Phx or Fla) and signed it. On his previous two teams he was a top 4 D man and go the ice time (and maybe points) and contract he deserved. Canucks are a deeper team and did not need him in the top 4 the last two years.

I do not mind his skills and ability. He just does not fit that well here on this team. Unless he settles into a "safer" style of play on the third pair this year. He is a good insurance policy to move up into the top 4 if nec.

I agree, he does cough up the puck too much in the past and Rome seemed to be the safer option.

Look at LA winning the cup this year and their D. Their D played it simple, strong, and safe. Except for Doughty who actually has the ability to do what he does exceptionally well, the other 5 D were just excellent at playing a "Rome" style D (but better than our former Rome...)

Minimal mistakes, pass it up, strong in your own end.

Our D seems a little to risky sometimes....

We will see how he works out on the third pair this year in Vancouver. I can live with him, but like I said, he does not really fit and would not be sad to see him go for somebody that can play a "Willie Mitchell": style defense.

(then we will all be crying for puck moving D again.....LOL)

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I don't understand how people say he's being used incorrectly. How else should he be used? The man simply sucks at playing the right side and says himself that he's not comfortable there. Is it AV's fault to play Hamhuis and Edler ahead of Ballard?

And as for PP time, Ballard is great at skating, but he's not so great at getting shots through. Isn't that really more important than skating in PP time? I wouldn't rate Ballard over Bieksa, Edler, Salo or even Hamhuis at quarterbacking our PP. Not saying Ballard is below average with his vision and hockey sense; just saying the other guys are better at it. We have been one of the most successful PP team in the last two years (the dip in second half of last year happened to ALL teams by the way, because penalties just weren't being called - decreased by average of 3 penalties per night).

Notice how Ballard is being used on 4-on-4? A situation which actually benefits great skaters (which is why Raymond is used in these open ice situations as well).

I think AV prefers to have a very reliable third pair, rather than a high-risk/high-reward player like Ballard, who likes to skate up and join the rush and often get caught deep in the O-zone. He's a great skater, sure, but AV would prefer to have a big guy that can play positionally sound D. This is problematic, because Ballard is sort of stuck behind Hamhuis and Edler.

The reason why Ballard stays a third pair on the Canucks next season (if he does) will only be because his trade value is at all time low. Really, if you were the GM of another team, what would you offer for Ballard given his production in the most recent years?

I don't hate Ballard, but I think if you look at his skill set, and objectively evaluate his pros and cons, he just doesn't fit well with the Canucks.

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Since he got here I have thought that if Ballard is your 'worst Dman' of six on the ice: your team is so stacked its not funny. As he is, he is 4th/5th on a great team, I vote we keep him. You know why? 70.2m divided by 23 dudes is just over 3m dollars a player average Salary..we are paying him 1.5m more than the team average, since we spend to the cap year over over. Your bottom six forwards provide for all six of your starting Dmen to be in the 4.5m dollar range, by virtue of being under the team average in paychecks.

Ballard along with Hamhuis, Bieksa and Edler and now Garrison provide us 5 of 6 starting dmen who are good at their jobs and worth their money. Tanev is much much better than we think, and we are all fans of his..but his age being low means he is inexperienced, you go with Tanev at 6th man on D and in a few years he will rock it with the top like Hammer and Beeks.

Do I think we have an all around great deep D? Yes, yes i do.

Hamhuis

Bieksa

Edler

Ballard

Garrison

Tanev.

I don't see a need to bring in anyone else. But I sure will miss Salo, he would have been the cement to bind that group of talent together, but I don't blame him on taking a two year payday in another town. Tampa Bay is paying him 3.75m a year for two years. Gillis would not and should not have matched that offer, as much as I respect and will miss Sami in our jersey.

In short, we are set on D, we are deeeeeep in net, and we have a great bottom six, and 4/6ths of the top six are awesome. Two forwards that can put up points and our team would arguably be the best in the league from crease to faceoff dot. Ballard is not an issue.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Raymond only get scratched ONE GAME on March 19th and then went from pressbox to 1st line with the Sedins for the next game against Chicago?

It's like a slap on the wrist to your favorite puppy and then giving him all the toys to make him happy again

That seems like favoritism to me....

You think AV would do that for Shirokov? lol

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That depends on what you consider equitable and fair. As far as I'm concerned Ballard got the ice time he earned in his first season here and played his way to the pressbox in the playoffs. He was a disaster for most of the season. He'll never outproduce Edler, nor will he ever be better defensively than Hamhuis. That means he'll be third pair with third pair ice time.

Now onto Raymond. People seem to have really short memories around here. When Raymond first came up he was moved down the lines and often benched. Sound familiar all you Hodgson, Grabner and Shirokov fanboys? I can tell you what gets AV's "favoritism" among forwards. Defensive responsibility. Raymonds defensive game was not very good when he came up and he frequently lost ice time as a result. Just as AV has done with Kesler, Burrows and Hansen as they've developed. Just as he did with Hodgson, Grabner and Shirokov. So where's the favoritism? Raymond has gotten to the point that he will get some slack for not producing because he has in the past and doesn't hurt the team defensively. AV has shown time and time again he'll give players "some time" to get out of a slump as long as they are defensively responsible. When Raymond didn't come out of it what happened? Has was moved to the 3rd line. Then the fourth line. Then spent a few in the pressbox. So where's the "favoritism"?

How about Rome over Ballard? Lets see, Ballard was a disaster while Rome played a safe simple game. Well now, I can't understand why Rome would get the ice time. It took Ballard almost half the season just to get up to speed from his hip surgery. When Edler injured his back opportunity came knocking and Ballard was awful on the PP and was a disaster with Ehrhoff. In comes Mr safe, simple Rome. Opportunity came knocking again when Hamhuis got his concussion. Again Ballard was awful with Bieksa in a shutdown role. In comes Mr safe/simple Rome again. Then came Ballards knee injury and he was just not very good in any role the rest of the season. So where's the favoritism? Rome may not be a star and he'll likely never be a regular above the bottom pair. But he plays a safe simple physical game. Which is what you need from a bottom pair guy.

The only favoritism is in your head. The favoritism towards your own chosen ones that haven't earned their ice time yet.

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That depends on what you consider equitable and fair. As far as I'm concerned Ballard got the ice time he earned in his first season here and played his way to the pressbox in the playoffs. He was a disaster for most of the season. He'll never outproduce Edler, nor will he ever be better defensively than Hamhuis. That means he'll be third pair with third pair ice time.

Now onto Raymond. People seem to have really short memories around here. When Raymond first came up he was moved down the lines and often benched. Sound familiar all you Hodgson, Grabner and Shirokov fanboys? I can tell you what gets AV's "favoritism" among forwards. Defensive responsibility. Raymonds defensive game was not very good when he came up and he frequently lost ice time as a result. Just as AV has done with Kesler, Burrows and Hansen as they've developed. Just as he did with Hodgson, Grabner and Shirokov. So where's the favoritism? Raymond has gotten to the point that he will get some slack for not producing because he has in the past and doesn't hurt the team defensively. AV has shown time and time again he'll give players "some time" to get out of a slump as long as they are defensively responsible. When Raymond didn't come out of it what happened? Has was moved to the 3rd line. Then the fourth line. Then spent a few in the pressbox. So where's the "favoritism"?

How about Rome over Ballard? Lets see, Ballard was a disaster while Rome played a safe simple game. Well now, I can't understand why Rome would get the ice time. It took Ballard almost half the season just to get up to speed from his hip surgery. When Edler injured his back opportunity came knocking and Ballard was awful on the PP and was a disaster with Ehrhoff. In comes Mr safe, simple Rome. Opportunity came knocking again when Hamhuis got his concussion. Again Ballard was awful with Bieksa in a shutdown role. In comes Mr safe/simple Rome again. Then came Ballards knee injury and he was just not very good in any role the rest of the season. So where's the favoritism? Rome may not be a star and he'll likely never be a regular above the bottom pair. But he plays a safe simple physical game. Which is what you need from a bottom pair guy.

The only favoritism is in your head. The favoritism towards your own chosen ones that haven't earned their ice time yet.

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Ballard can be a top 4 guy easily on any team.

Why not sweeten the lu deal to Toronto by adding Ballard.

That way Burke will get a top 4 guy to replace Gardiner.

Then Gardiner can develop along side Tanev as our future top 4.

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