Anyone who thinks Keith Ballard has a future with Canucks organization is living in denial. His future with this team looks bleak. Like Shane O Brien I think Ballard will be on the move either by waiver wire or a trade. Coach AV really has no love for Ballard and Keith has underwhelmed himself as a Canuck.
I suspect that Ballard could be gone purely because of the new CBA and the assumed drop in the salary cap, and I'll be sad to see him go if that's the case.
The poor guy just can't seem to catch a break while he's been in a Canucks jersey. He's had injuries, frequent changes in pairings (although working with Tanev looks to be working out), and he is one of those d-men who can only play effectively on one side of the ice and that's the side where the Canucks are deepest in talent.
He could be part of the Luongo deal, but that would mean that the destination team would have to eat their combined cap hit of $9+ million. From the usual suspect teams which might want Luongo, the only one that I see as possibly wanting Ballard and being able to accept the extra cap hit would be TB. Their defense is kind of creaky in places (Salo, Ohlund) and Ballard is a mobile d-man who could fit in their top-6.
The question then becomes, what would the Canucks have to take back and would it be worth it?