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Phil_314

How threatening are the new signings (Barker, Vandermeer) to the 3rd pairing incumbents (Ballard, Tanev)?

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Barker- strong shot, good physicality, yet is not good defensively nor a good skater (did put up 40 points in 69 several seasons ago)

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They'll be carrying 8 d-men on the active roster. So somebody will be the odd man out.

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I hope I eat my words but if he cant make it in Edmonton then I dont see him making it here.

you can add him to the draft shame list.

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Both Ballard and Tanev are quality third pairing guys - Ballard is able to step up into the top 4 in the event of injury, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same proves true of Tanev at this point. I think they are clearly the third pairing.

I still see Alberts as the best 7th man.

Vandermeer imo is more of a 'situational' signing, who will likely see ice time against particular opponents.

Barker - insurance, no harm in having him around, no expectations, perhaps surprise us playing in this system.

I also think these guys are being signed because Connauton and Sauve haven't forced the issue.

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Both Ballard and Tanev are quality third pairing guys - Ballard is able to step up into the top 4 in the event of injury, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same proves true of Tanev at this point. I think they are clearly the third pairing.

I still see Alberts as the best 7th man.

Vandermeer imo is more of a 'situational' signing, who will likely see ice time against particular opponents.

Barker - insurance, no harm in having him around, no expectations, perhaps surprise us playing in this system.

I also think these guys are being signed because Connauton and Sauve haven't forced the issue.

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For me after his season end and then the playoffs it has to be Ballard and anyone of 3/4. Ballard is a "given" on his natural side. Fast.....very fast, smooth skater, carries well, and has a great shot when he uses it which is not enough imo. Personally I could see Vandermeer and Tanev alternating, meaning Vandermeer plays where extra "pushback" is required.

And lets remember Ballard is no pushover in that department either.

One last point Tanev plays much better with Ballard. (who is quick to cover) He was frankly disappointing down in Chicago where he often looked all over the place. It is no coincidence that the Wolves D has tightened up with the departure of both he and Conn.

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I don't view these signings as too much of a threat to Tanev. Barker is a solid depth signing and Vandermeer adds some grit and toughness to our back end and essentially replaces Rome as A.V.s forbidden love child.

Ballard should be very scared for his job, if he isn't traded he will be bought out before next season. I really like Ballard as a bottom D pairing guy but his $4.2 million paycheque for the role he plays on our team is an absolute joke. I will miss him but considering how we are going to be desperate next season to find cap space I think it's fair to say that we will be choosing to re-sign Edler over giving him more chances to prove himself.

I was crunching the numbers and even IF we trade Luongo and manage to re-sign Edler at a massive discount ($4.6 cap hit) we will be barely under the cap with 23 skaters. We also have to re-sign a number of key role players. Lapierre, Higgins, and Tanev need to be re-signed and are arguably due for raises. We have to figure out what to do with Malhotra and Raymond (key factor is what will it cost to replace them?).

Signed with us through next season:

Daniel ($6.1)

Henrik ($6.1)

Kesler ($5)

Burrows ($4.5)

Booth ($4.25)

Hansen ($1.35)

Hamhuis ($4.5)

Bieksa ($4.6)

Garrison ($4.6)

Ballard ($4.2)

Luongo ($5.3)

Schnieder ($4)

-------

Total: $54.5 million committed to 10 skaters + 2 goalies

Contracts ending this season:

Edler ($3.25) - Due for a massive raise

Higgins ($1.9) - Due for a raise

Lapierre ($1) - Due for a raise

Tanev ($900k) - Due for a raise

Biggest Question Marks:

Malhotra ($2.5) - Comes at a discount

Raymond ($2.275) - Comes at a discount

Depth guys:

Weise ($615k)

Volpatti ($600k)

Ebbett (600k)

Barker ($700k)

Vandermeer ($600k)

Alberts ($1.225) - I don't see us resigning him unless he takes a pay cut

After all is said and done we only have 10 skaters signed through next season and I don't see any situation, other than letting Edler walk, where Ballard remains with the team with his cap hit. Granted if Luongo is moved it leaves us with a little more flexibility but given that the cap is only $64.3 million next season we only have $9.8 million (w/ Luongo)/$15.1 million (w/o Luongo) to sign or re-sign 11 roster spots. Just don't see Ballard making it passed June and given the way Redden and Gomez have been treated by their clubs we may see Ballard told to stay home after we sort out our D situation in training camp.

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Both Ballard and Tanev are quality third pairing guys - Ballard is able to step up into the top 4 in the event of injury, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same proves true of Tanev at this point. I think they are clearly the third pairing.

I still see Alberts as the best 7th man.

Vandermeer imo is more of a 'situational' signing, who will likely see ice time against particular opponents.

Barker - insurance, no harm in having him around, no expectations, perhaps surprise us playing in this system.

I also think these guys are being signed because Connauton and Sauve haven't forced the issue.

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Vandemeer should make the team. All do respect to Tanev, I'd rather have a veteran defence going into the playoffs with Ballard and Vandemeer on our bottom pairing than Tanev, purely because of experience and toughness. Heck, even Barker over Ballard due to size, and Alberts getting in there would be nice too.

This defence was roughed up by huge forwards in the Boston series and LA series which is why we were bounced. Our defence were pounded every shift until they buckled, made pressure mistakes and cost us great scoring opportunities against our goalies.

Just being big, not necessarily physical, means guys like Barker can withstand a physical forecheck and not turn pucks over if he gets hit by a big guy like Kopitar or Lucic as opposed to smaller defencemen like Bieksa, Ballard and Tanev who were physically broken down as a series went on.

For the regular season:

Edler - Garrison

Hamhuis - Bieksa

Ballard - Tanev

For the playoffs (if all healthy):

Edler - Garrison

Hamhuis - Bieksa

Vandemeer - Barker

Alberts

In case of injuries (for example, an injured Hamhuis and injured Edler):

Bieksa - Garrison

Ballard - Vandemeer

Tanev - Barker

Alberts

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Me wonders if these signings have anything to do with Edlers contract or Luongos possible trade. Maybe both get traded in a package together or in seperate deals. I hope not but last time we picked up extra centers when it seemed we didnt need them....... well Im sure you all remember what happened.

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I doubt Ballard or Tanev have much to fear from either of these guys.

But it is a harsh indictment of Connauton and Sauve. The organization can’t make it any clearer that it thinks neither is fit to wear the uniform anytime soon.

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I have an inkling that Ballard will be put on the block if Barker can step in. This might be the thing holding up the Luongo trade. If not I don't see any trades happening, Barker will likely get demoted.

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Ballard and Tanev are better than any of them. Alberts, Barker and Vandermeer are fighting for the 7/8 spots

I still don't like Barke. But I predict Vandermeer will be the cut because he is on a two-contract and apparently (read it in the Province today somewhere) is waiver ineligible.

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No threat to Ballard at all.... infact, they will probably be great company riding the pine on the bench with him knowing AV

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