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CanadianRugby

Unpopular take, I never got the Ballard hate.

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It wasn't so much hate as it was that he wasn't worth the price paid or the cap-hit, so he was always shuffled into the infamous "Raymond, Ballard and a First" proposals.

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Ballard Raymond and a 1st? 

 

 

Good memories lol. 

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7 hours ago, Bitter Melon said:

It wasn't so much hate as it was that he wasn't worth the price paid or the cap-hit, so he was always shuffled into the infamous "Raymond, Ballard and a First" proposals.

At the end of the day, he was worth the price paid though.  We gave up a plug, a guy who was going to get waived anyway, and a first rounder that Gillis would have wasted on another bust.  First rounders were worth a lot less under that management group.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I never could see why AV didn't want to play him. He was fun to watch, especially his hip checks. He couldn't seem to get a break. I remember him throwing a gorgeous, totally legal hip check that some boneheaded ref gave him a penalty for, and AV treated him as if he had taken a really stupid penalty and sent him back to the doghouse.

Edited by WeneedLumme
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I don't think anyone hates Ballard, just like we didn't really hate Gudbranson. The trades to get them weren't very good though. A 1st rounder and Grabner is a bitter pill to swallow for what amounted to a 5/6 d-man. Yes Florida got nothing from the pick or Grabner, but still. I guess in hindsight Gillis likely would have gotten nothing with that pick either. Makes the trade more palatable in retrospect. Lol.

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Showing my age, thought this thread was about Harold Ballard.  

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AV sure loved Aaron Rome alright.

 

Shame shame

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On 7/1/2020 at 10:46 PM, King Heffy said:

Probably a more unpopular opinion:

 

We won the trade.  Ballard gave us some quality minutes, albeit overpaid and in a lesser role.  Grabner got waived after camp, Bernier lasted one season in FLA, and Howden was a bust.

Just goes to show that those pissing and moaning about trading 1sts and prospects that those players don't always turn into HoF players as what seems to be the major worry.

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14 hours ago, ruilin96 said:

I don't hate Ballard, just didn't like the deal in general. We traded a 1st round pick, a depth roster player and a decent prospect for a player we eventually use the compliance buy-out on. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he never got out of AV's doghouse, which made it a lot worse. I would've prefered resigning Willie Mitchell and the bring in Dan Hamhuis instead. The first round pick should've been packaged to get another top 6 scoring winger.

Hindsight is a b*tch. Funny though that we traded a 1st and a decent prospect (and some other pieces) for two top 6 scoring wingers (Miller/Toffoli) and people still complained about those deals at first as well. Sometimes trades work, sometimes they don't, it's just the way it goes. In this case, didn't work out as well as we hoped, but in hindsight, it didn't help them either so no harm no foul.

 

Ballard played some key minutes on our 2011 run and we were depleted on defense, so who knows how much of value he was for that run, but it's certainly added value to us in that deal. Willie Mitchell at the time had concussion issues (and as we know many are adverse to injury prone players). We didn't know if we could get Hamhuis signed before the trade was made as his rights were acquired by Philly in an attempt to get him signed before he hit UFA (Philly traded prospect/project Ryan Parent for his rights who which we also acquired later as well after there was no more space for Shane O'Brien). We had the Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Samuelsson and Raymond at the time of the trade, so we probably felt defense was a bigger need at the time especially with the decision to move on from Mitchell already.

 

I think many simply overrate the value of 1st round picks (we aren't talking about top 10 picks here) and prospects (not to say they don't have value, but they aren't the gold pieces that some believe).

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To be fair in his own respects he was a good player & a great person around the locker room.

 

...the hate is more so due to the fact he never fit and lived up to the expectations but it’s not his fault entirely:

 

 

1.) Directly/indirectly related, Canucks let Mitchell walk in free agency that summer who was a complete stud. Ballard was acquired mid season to essentially fill in for Willie’s spot. I say directly/indirectly because if you can recall, Ballard was able to fit under the Canucks cap because the Canucks had so many players on LTIR. The roster as a whole was many $millions above the cap but it was circumvented as players coincidentally came back playoff time where salary cap doesn’t matter (only matters for regular season). And because of that, Willie wasn’t able to re-sign in the off season because it would have put the Canucks over the cap at the start of the campaign. What hurts more is that he was a rock in the back the following years in LA and helped them win a Cup.

 

2.) the price to get Ballard was no joke. Grabner (promising up&coming 2nd liner at the time) + Bernier (reliable middle6 contributer) + a 1st. The likes of Francois Beauchemin, Ian White & other similar dmen were traded for a much lesser cost that campaign in comparison.

 

3.) AV didn’t play him. Even when he was played it was limited usage. AV’s was known for his favourites/doghouse and Ballard was part of the latter for whatever reason. It’s one thing to acquire a player for such assets but it’s a completely different thing for the coaching staff to be able to utilize the player. Sadly that wasn’t case. You can say a part that played a factor in that was the Canucks blue line being so deep that season but at the end of the day if that’s the sort of price a team pays for an acquisition, it’s inexcusable to not get the most out of the player. That type of deal is meant to bring in a difference maker; which Ballard was but AV didn’t juice out.

 

 

...so when you sum up all those things, it’s fair to say that Ballard was a miss although it wasn’t necessarily his fault for the situation he was in with not being fully utilized/trusted. 

 

You can can see why some fans hate was directed towards him as they probably think he cost us a championship when it wasn't directly his fault. Even with Hamhuis going down in the finals, he was healthy scratched. That was supposed to be our difference maker. Turns out he only played 10 games that playoffs. You can call it a big swing and a miss when you look at the big picture as a whole as I’ve tried laying out here.

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On 7/2/2020 at 9:49 AM, Bitter Melon said:

It wasn't so much hate as it was that he wasn't worth the price paid or the cap-hit, so he was always shuffled into the infamous "Raymond, Ballard and a First" proposals.

Mason Raymond actually is unfairly mocked in those types of trade jokes imho.  For a being a late 2nd round pick and having his back broken by a Bruin, he put up decent numbers for a couple seasons.  

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7 hours ago, EP40. said:

...so when you sum up all those things, it’s fair to say that Ballard was a miss although it wasn’t necessarily his fault for the situation he was in with not being fully utilized/trusted. 

 

You can can see why some fans hate was directed towards him as they probably think he cost us a championship when it wasn't directly his fault. Even with Hamhuis going down in the finals, he was healthy scratched. That was supposed to be our difference maker. Turns out he only played 10 games that playoffs. You can call it a big swing and a miss when you look at the big picture as a whole as I’ve tried laying out here.

Most people were blaming AV at the time and not Ballard though. 

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On 7/1/2020 at 8:03 PM, CanadianRugby said:

Watching the 2011 playoffs.  Daaaaamn that team was good.  Anyway, watching Ballard play.  I think he's playing his role ok, and he's physical.  

 

Only later, when Kesler, Erhoff and Edler were messed up.  Rome suspended, Maholtra and Hamhuis out, that guys like Ballard were asked too much defensively.  

 

Update: wow I thought everyone was gonna disagree.  I guess it was mostly just AV that hated him. 

I actually liked the trade as I remembered him from his time with the Yotes. But he had offseason hip surgery when we traded for him and he just wasn't the same. Then came a concussion and knee injury. After that he was an ok d-man at best prone to mistakes from turning too late to low percentage passes. Not awful in a limited role but definitely not good enough for top four anymore. In hindsight the trade didn't work out for either team involved, a lose-lose trade.

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I still wonder if we gave Mitchell 2 years like he wanted instead of letting him walk and trading for Ballard instead, if we'd be 2 time champs right now. I think we would be, and it's a huge mark on what Gillis did wrong.

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7 hours ago, canuckster19 said:

I still wonder if we gave Mitchell 2 years like he wanted instead of letting him walk and trading for Ballard instead, if we'd be 2 time champs right now. I think we would be, and it's a huge mark on what Gillis did wrong.

there is a whole lot of "if" in that statement

Counting on Willie in 2010 is like counting on Ferland right now

If Ferland was our 1-2 LW that is a really big "if" for our chances.

Willie was not really ready to return until 2011 season.

He played 57 games in 2010-11 but did not return to his old self until the next season,

Ballard played 65 games for us in 2010-11.

Also moving Stone Cold Steve and Grabner gave us room to sign Manny, Tambellini and Raffi 

Likewise we are overstocked with forwards right now, Bernier and Grabs may have prevented some of the signings that worked out for us in 2010-11

If we could package Loui, Virt/Ferland and a 1st for a middling D man we might make that trade today, this time it allows us to sign Toffoli, Marky and Tanev

 

Its kind of funny to say a deal made before July 1, the summer before we win the Pres trophy is a terrible deal

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the weird thing about that trade, looking back now is that all of the players are still young enough to play in the league.

Ballard is the oldster at 37, while Howden is 28.

Ballard finished in 2014

Oreskovich in 2012

Grabs is still in the NHL

Bernier last scored in 2015-16 but played a few games in 2018, still toiling in the minors

Howden is in the KHL but played in 2017

 

It all seems so long ago, yet most players are still around, somewhere

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On 7/3/2020 at 10:36 AM, EP40. said:

To be fair in his own respects he was a good player & a great person around the locker room.

 

...the hate is more so due to the fact he never fit and lived up to the expectations but it’s not his fault entirely:

 

 

1.) Directly/indirectly related, Canucks let Mitchell walk in free agency that summer who was a complete stud. Ballard was acquired mid season to essentially fill in for Willie’s spot. I say directly/indirectly because if you can recall, Ballard was able to fit under the Canucks cap because the Canucks had so many players on LTIR. The roster as a whole was many $millions above the cap but it was circumvented as players coincidentally came back playoff time where salary cap doesn’t matter (only matters for regular season). And because of that, Willie wasn’t able to re-sign in the off season because it would have put the Canucks over the cap at the start of the campaign. What hurts more is that he was a rock in the back the following years in LA and helped them win a Cup.

Canucks let Mitchell walk because he had a concussion the season prior to him hitting UFA and we weren't confident that he would return to form after missing nearly half of the season. He didn't really bounce back the following season either and not until the year after. So yes he did help LA on their cup run, but it hard to argue that he was "stud" when we let him go.

 

Ballard was acquired on draft day, so not sure how the cap was a worry at that time. I think we did make a panic move because our intention was to make Hamhuis an offer, but Philly had acquired his rights and we didn't know if he would even hit UFA. So with that unknown and likely already telling Mitchell we are letting him walk already, we wanted to ensure that we had LD covered.

 

On 7/3/2020 at 10:36 AM, EP40. said:

2.) the price to get Ballard was no joke. Grabner (promising up&coming 2nd liner at the time) + Bernier (reliable middle6 contributer) + a 1st. The likes of Francois Beauchemin, Ian White & other similar dmen were traded for a much lesser cost that campaign in comparison.

Beauchemin was acquired for Lupul, Gardiner and a 4th in February of 2011. Gardiner was a 20 year old prospect who was coming of college with a PPG season (younger dman with top 4 potential is worth more than Grabner IMO) and Lupul was a middle 6 player that had 50+ point seasons under his belt (whereas Bernier was only a 30 point guy at best and was really decent bottom 6 player). I would say this trade is very close in value to what we gave up. Let's keep in mind as well that Beauchemin was a 30 year old at the time of the trade and Ballard was 27.

 

Ian White was a RD. We had Ehrhoff, Salo and Bieksa on the right side I believe.

 

Don't know if either of these players were available when we wanted to make a deal.

 

On 7/3/2020 at 10:36 AM, EP40. said:

3.) AV didn’t play him. Even when he was played it was limited usage. AV’s was known for his favourites/doghouse and Ballard was part of the latter for whatever reason. It’s one thing to acquire a player for such assets but it’s a completely different thing for the coaching staff to be able to utilize the player. Sadly that wasn’t case. You can say a part that played a factor in that was the Canucks blue line being so deep that season but at the end of the day if that’s the sort of price a team pays for an acquisition, it’s inexcusable to not get the most out of the player. That type of deal is meant to bring in a difference maker; which Ballard was but AV didn’t juice out.

 

 

...so when you sum up all those things, it’s fair to say that Ballard was a miss although it wasn’t necessarily his fault for the situation he was in with not being fully utilized/trusted. 

 

You can can see why some fans hate was directed towards him as they probably think he cost us a championship when it wasn't directly his fault. Even with Hamhuis going down in the finals, he was healthy scratched. That was supposed to be our difference maker. Turns out he only played 10 games that playoffs. You can call it a big swing and a miss when you look at the big picture as a whole as I’ve tried laying out here.

But yes unfortunately AV didn't want to play him for whatever reason. Pretty much all of his teammates called him a good team guy though. I don't see why anyone would put any blame on him for costing us a championship though.

 

So as I've said earlier, it was an insurance move if we didn't lock up Hamhuis, albeit a panicked one IMO. But that is likely the cost of potentially a top 4 dman. And we weren't going to pass up on Hamhuis when he was still available. Also as mentioned, moving a couple of forwards allowed us to add key pieces to the forward group that were integral for our run. It was a 25th overall pick, so it was a low percentage 1st rounder anyway and the pick never panned out plus given Gillis' drafting, it may have not made much of a difference either. Ballard at least gave us games during an incredible season and playoff run (including some nice highlight hip checks).

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