Canucks Power Rankings, Disappointment: Keith Ballard
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01-19-2011, 01:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
Biggest disappointment with Ballard continues to be how he's used.
When he's actually been given icetime, he's been very good - +7 in 10 games where he was over 17 minutes of playing time. The one brief stretch where he got 20+ minutes for 3-4 games, he looked great.
He has a better PP pedigree than Hamhuis does, but has received pretty much 0 PP time while Hamhuis has been an (ineffective) stalwart on the #2 unit.
Sees nothing but 3rd-pairing icetime with Alberts/Rome. Whenever Rome is in the lineup, Ballard inexplicably plays less than Rome.
I've never seen a player set up to fail the way Ballard has been with this club right from the first game of the preseason. To his credit, he's handled it with nothing but class.
Biggest disappointment so far has been Samuelsson.
Started the season as an absolute disaster in October, played better for about 20 games through November and early December, but has been ghastly again since Christmas.
Has been one of our poorest forwards defensively, making awful decisions with the puck, has been less involved physically than last season, and his production has basically just been a function of the excellence of the Sedins and Kesler.
Has been the worst player on the team since Christmas. Tambellini is struggling offensively, but the effort is there and he's still doing little things to help the team. Samuelsson is not. 0-1-1 in his last 11 games with loads of icetime while contributing nothing physically or defensively.
It's been amazing how poor he's been after being so outstanding through the last month of the regular season last year and in the playoffs.
the discussion of whether or not the Canucks can afford to roll with 6 highly paid top-4 calibre d-men is quite valid though. at the very least, you have to wonder if it would be possible to move Ballard and his 4.2M for a slightly cheaper top-4 d-man elsewhere. if they could shave enough salary off (say a guy making ~$1.5M less), it might be worth bringing in a slight downgrade at the #5 position who could still play top-4 minutes if needed, while simultaneously allowing them to bring Salo back (thus adding another top-4). but if you're talking long-term (ie. beyond just this season) then you have to think keeping Ballard around is the probably the better move for next year and beyond.
i don't really see Gillis trying to move Ballard right away though, this quickly. and after this season, i don't see why they wouldn't be plenty happy to keep him and his salary around. although there is that sense that perhaps Ballard was just the 'insurance policy' in the event Hamhuis didn't sign here...and could be moved given the way things have panned out.
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