Keith Ballard

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Keith Ballard

Postby Hockey Widow » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:02 pm

OK, so I'm starting a new thread. Why? Because I just don't get it.

Apparently it is true, Ballard has been a healthy scratch the last two games. I for one would like to know why.

He has been one of the more consistent D'men this season. He gets punished because he can't play the R side while others get a pass. He gets benched and Alberts gets to keep playing. He sits with Barker gets the call.


Ok, Ok, Ok, so we want to see what Barker can bring, fine. We know what Alberts brings and yes he needs to play. But why bench Ballard? And why for 2 straight games. When he fucks up he sits for games on end but others get a pass.
AV has mis managed Ballard from day one.

I'm still sore we go into game 7 of the finals with Ehrhoff barely able to lift his shoulder, can't hit and can't shoot, Edler with 2 broken fingers, can barely hold stick and can't shoot. Yet no Ballard. Not even as a forward where we had Glass playing with broken ribs, could barely skate or hit. Yet games 7 we sit a healthy D'man for some reason. Oh and lets not talk about one eye Manny drawing in over Hodgson and Ballard.

I get that Ballard is over paid to be on the bottom pairing. I get we have too many D'men making over 4 million + and all playing the left side, or playing there better. I get one will in all likelihood have to be moved. OK, fine, then move one of them. I don't get how or why he has been handled this way by the Canucks. I have no great love for the guy I just think he is better than Alberts and Barker at this point. I get that the defence is running around a lot but how do you lay the balm on one guy. Sit Edler a game or two for his brain farts. Sit garrison for a game or two for his brain farts.

Apparently Ballard's agent plans to talk to the Canucks this week. I guess Keith has had enough too. So trade him already MG. Even if all you get is a low round draft pick get his cap off the books.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby Benjo » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:08 pm

He looked miserable in all of the Vancouver Millionaires jersey photo op pictures. Seems so weird, it looked like he was a steadying presence in all of the pairings he was shuffled to this season. Not a Salo steadying presence but steadying nonetheless.

This about sums it up:


Image
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby rats19 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:10 pm

I was making the point the other day at HFboards. that there has to be another reason for him being a healthy scratch. i.e. protecting from injury for a pending trade... Maybe a tweek soemwhere...maybe diciplinary actions..beyond the brain farts. But I also said that in the end if its not any of those things or any meaningfull reason. GMMG has to step in and get involved in this, because its bullshit....the natives are getting restless that is a given
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby dbr » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:20 pm

I would have liked to see Ballard stick out this season so the Canucks would have flexibility to make a move in the offseason (when they will need to make another move or two anyways).

Still, even with the improved play Ballard is our fourth best left side defenseman and maybe our sixth most important regular.. so when the time comes for someone to sit it's going to be him.

Is that because of Ballard, or because of the way the coaching staff have expected him to play? Probably a fair bit of both.

Anyway the writing has been on the wall for some time now, the Canucks need to either use Ballard differently or move him - in the meantime he's been satisfactory in his role so if they can just get him to buy in for the remainder of the season that would be ideal... we have enough cap space to make significant additions at the trade deadline anyway so I don't see the point in rushing (and having to endure a couple of months of growing pains from whoever we get to replace him).

..

But yes his first season here was an unmitigated disaster. I was reading a couple of old Ballard threads (looking for a good candidate to resurrect with these new developments) and in one of them Potatoe made the point that if we had made an offer for Nathan Horton instead it could have been enough to swing the 2011 finals in our favour. Ahh well.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby Jovocop » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:56 pm

As I said in the other thread, MG have to trade Ballard soon if he is a healthy scratch for two straight games without a medical reason. MG could trade Ballard ($4.2 for two more seasons) + a 3 rounder for Komisarek ($4.5m for one more season)+ Steckel (UFA). All three players have been benchwarmers for the last little while. Both Komisarek and Steckel are slow skaters but could add size and grit to the lineup. Komisarek is right-handed. Also, the Canucks desperately need a centreman for faceoffs. Steckel was extremely good in the dot before he signed with the Leafs. Perhaps a change of scenery might magic for all three players. As for the roster spot, they could waive Alberts since Komisarek can pretty much replace Alberts' "toughness".

News1130 Sports ‏@News1130Sports

#Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard's agent Ben Hankinson says he will be calling the Canucks today regarding his client.

Blake Price ‏@blakeprice1040

Think Leafs would bite on a Ballard for Komisarek deal? Gets you out of the contract one year earlier. and bigger body might work in west
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby Diehard1 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:04 pm

I really hope that, if Komisarek is coming back, Gillis and AV know what they are doing. He's been god awful in Toronto, much worse than Ballard has been here in Van. Steckel would be fine, he's slow as molasses but has consistently been the best faceoff man in the NHL for years, even better than Manny who we could replace.

On Ballard, I'm with many people who just don't understand it - he's been a solid dman this year, seemed to have figured out what AV and Bowness wanted him to do and he gets scratched the last 2 games for guys like Alberts (who at his best is a borderline NHL dman) and Barker (who can't even make an impact in the AHL).

Never mind whether or not Ballard is the 4th best LH dman on the roster, which I believe he is as well, it's piss poor asset management. There's no reason to have a $4.2 million cap hit sitting in the press box - if you don't want him here then trade him before you make him a healthy scratch and kill all of his value.

There must be something more to this, did Ballard go after AV's daughter or something? It's just a very, very odd situation and one that makes little to no sense.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby dbr » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:10 pm

I'd rather have a complete sideshow involving the Canucks and the Ballard camp the rest of the way this year than take Mike Komisarek back in a trade. Guy can't crack a vastly worse blueline on a regular basis.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby herb » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:21 pm

Count me in as somebody who just doesn't get this situation either. It's been talked about ad nauseum, but Ballard has played noticeably much better this year and was even getting some time on the PK. At this point, it clearly looks like a situation where Ballard is not liked by the coaching staff either as a player or a person.

At the end of the day, it's just bad asset management from the Canucks perspective. Ballard and should be gone, and replaced with a RH defenseman and a legitimate 3C.

Ballard must be fed up, I know I would be.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby DonCherry4PM » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:28 pm

I don't think one needs to look any farther than a coach that has for the entire span of his tenure here in Vancouver shown himself prone to be very biased towards or against players without necessarily having reason behind such bias. His love for fringe players and his unwillingness to give other players who are not in his good books a chance has been the singularly most consistent feature during his time here. Time that will hopefully soon be coming to an end.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby Orcasfan » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:34 pm

We are talking about a 3rd pairing (at least with the Canucks), left side D, with a cap hit of $4.2 mil, right? I would be shocked if GMMG has not tried to trade this guy! But, the way some of you blast away, you would think that trading this "asset" should be easy...What can we realistically expect in return? :hmmm:

Actually, I think the stickler might be Gillis being loathe to trade Ballard for a low-ball return. Not only would that be hard to swallow, but it would also show everyone just what a failure his original trade for Ballard turned out to be! GMMG seems to have a ton of pride which may be inhibiting him from accepting his mistake, clearing the deck, and moving on. :(
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby vic » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:35 pm

Another "brilliant" move by the teams "brilliant" coach.

Take the most consistent d-pairing you have (Ballard - Tanev), who have worked so well together EVERY SINGLE TIME they have put on the ice together (this season, last season and the season before), and mess with it.

Date it back to the Boston series when Hamuis got hurt. He had Ballard sitting in his dog house and was forced to play him. Instead of putting him with Tanev, he slots him in on the top shut down pair with Bieksa - take the guy you trust the least on the blue line and put him into arguably the most important role.

Coach AV - the team is destined for greatness with him behind the bench.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby DonCherry4PM » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:44 pm

Orcasfan wrote:We are talking about a 3rd pairing (at least with the Canucks), left side D, with a cap hit of $4.2 mil, right? I would be shocked if GMMG has not tried to trade this guy! But, the way some of you blast away, you would think that trading this "asset" should be easy...What can we realistically expect in return? :hmmm:


Well, one way to ensure you won't get anything in exchange for him is by sitting him on the bench or in the pressbox. Perhaps, if he can't fit on the team, which is looking to be the case, they should try to showcase him as they did Hodgson..... Like that will happen with AV at the helm. :lol:
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby Diehard1 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:45 pm

Orcasfan wrote:We are talking about a 3rd pairing (at least with the Canucks), left side D, with a cap hit of $4.2 mil, right? I would be shocked if GMMG has not tried to trade this guy! But, the way some of you blast away, you would think that trading this "asset" should be easy...What can we realistically expect in return? :hmmm:

Actually, I think the stickler might be Gillis being loathe to trade Ballard for a low-ball return. Not only would that be hard to swallow, but it would also show everyone just what a failure his original trade for Ballard turned out to be! GMMG seems to have a ton of pride which may be inhibiting him from accepting his mistake, clearing the deck, and moving on. :(


I don't think he's got much choice, Ballard is gone this off-season for sure as the team can't afford him next year, and you get more for him at the deadline than you would at any other time.

If AV isn't going to play him why keep him? He's not even good insurance anymore.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby Arbour » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:50 pm

Count me in as confused as well. Ballard and Tanev at the beginning of the season quickly evolved into a very steady pairing and frankly were earning the right to move up the ranks in respect to playing time. The rest of the Canuck defence was basically out of sync and had Ballard played similarly he would have no doubt been benched until next season. So given this is a coaching staff that purports to have players "earn" their ice time, the one relatively consistent pair of dmen are broken up and eventually Ballard gets relegated to the status of expendable scratch.

This makes about as much sense as breaking of the Raymond Schroeder Hansen line which seemed to be developing some chemistry as line mates. Now we have Schroeder as a fourth line grinder...go figure.
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Re: Keith Ballard

Postby Topper » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:58 pm

I have long suspected there is something with Ballard toeing the party line or practice work ethic that puts him in AV's doghouse. Recall his first season when he was scratched. The team statement was he wasn't healthy and a couple of days later Ballard says he's been a healthy scratch.

The Canucks do not air their laundry in public and the speculation takes on a life of its own. Something repeated often enough suddenly takes on the dimension of fact.

Maybe the buyout decision has been made and Vancouver wants him healthy.
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