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01-18-2011, 05:18 PM
Karl Hungus
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Originally Posted by orcatown View Post
There have been bigger disappointments than Ballard but there seems little way that he has lived up to his 4.2 price tag. That has be to factor in terms of Ballard's evaluation just like it is with every other player.

As far as AV use of Ballard it is appropriate. He has been our 5th or 6th defenseman in terms of play and he is getting that kind of time.

The biq question with Ballard is whether you can carry a 4.2 defenseman who is not solidly in your 4. Given the cap that may be a luxury you just can't afford without hurting your team too much elsewhere.

At the moment the Canucks, in terms of other contenders, are spending a premium on their goaltending and their defense. This creates difficulties in the getting the top 6 player they need and the help on the 4th line. I think you have to ask yourself whether we need a better balance and need to look at spending less on defense and more elsewhere.

If so then Ballard's salary becomes an issue. That might even be so if Ballard was playing great but was still 5th on the depth chart. It especially becomes an issue if you believe Ballard is not living up to the 4.2 he is getting.

I think the writer's point is that Ballard's signing was a major signing and, to this point, this trade has not had the positive impact that a major investment, in term so both the players given up and in terms of the salary hit taken, might have been expected to have.
I think Ballard has played well enough given his limited role to not warrant being labeled as a disappointment. He's not been airtight but he's also not a turnover machine or inept positionally by any means. I like his willingness to sacrifice his body and he seems like a good guy.

That said, I think he's in the mix with Bieksa and Salo as to who may be the odd man out. The fact that he came here through a trade and not a FA signing makes me think Gillis would move him if the circumstances were favorable. I think they're trying to weigh if re-signing Bieksa will be a better deal than Ballard at 4.2. A few months ago I would have said no way but now it's a tough call.

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