If Ballard is dealt and Rome stays, and all we get back are depth forwards and a bottom pairing defenseman, Gillis needs to be shot for not firing Vigneault, or at least telling him to smarten the F up in regards to playing favorites with shit players. Ballard was doing fine in Florida, came here, started off having to return from surgery, and was never given a fair shake. From day one Ballard was competing with Rome for his spot. Rome!!!??? Keith Ballard was competing with Aaron Rome!?!!? WTF?!?!
Ballard has wheels, above average hands, a decent shot, a good first pass, a great hip check, he's a battler, he has pretty good hockey sense, and is a top 4, if not top 3, defenseman on any team in the NHL. Rome is slow, hands of stone, a decent but inaccurate shot, brutal first pass, can hit (but other than Horton I can't remember many big ones), he battles but often gets there too late, below average hockey sense, and is a 5 or 6 man at best on any team in the league.
Vigneault, and any other Ballard detractors for that matter, have the argument in their favor that Ballard makes bad decisions that lead to turnovers. Sure. I won't argue that he's had his share of screw ups, but I guarantee that he hasn't had as many as Bieksa has. Yet Vigneault continually puts Bieksa out there on the top pairing with Hammer. He may have
coached the Canucks to their highest level of play in team history, and have seen the most wins behind Vancouver's bench, but the guy needs to be smacked around when it comes to some players.
And one more thing, Ballard also is more willing to drop the gloves with opponents. He has 37 bouts on his NHL fight card according to hockeyfights.com. Rome has 8. Ballard has been the league longer, but Rome is supposed to be that "tough", "hard-nosed" blueliner.....isn't he?