Chicago Wolves Discussion - Part VII
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01-08-2013, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Frisco, Texas
Originally Posted by
I am not sure if that is an accurate assessment. I would agree that Ballard was decent, relativel speaking, in the Los Angeles series. However, forgetting Alain Vigneault and his use of Ballard, Ballard is still a defensemen with a ton of warts. The problem is that he is neither dependable defensively or offensively. His hockey IQ is very poor and as a result he make many poor defensive reads. His skating is very good, and as a result, he is able to cover up some of these errors. He is also isn't overly physical. He basically only has his hipcheck - other than that, he is relatively soft and not imposing.
On the offensive end of the puck things don't look much better. His only real asset is his skating. He is a good puck rusher, but his outlet passing skills are weak and he doesn't have much of a shot. He is also poor on the powerplay.
At the end of the day you have a defenseman that can't be depended on to produce offensively, nor can be depended on defensively.
Personally, I don't have much of a problem with the way Alain Vigneault has treated Ballard. Ballard was able to get away with these deficiencies play on poor teams in Phoenix and Florida but was exposed when he was traded to Vancouver. Moreover, I don't even really blame Gillis for acquiring him, as I think it was a reasonable gamble at the time. However, Gillis is most certainly responsible for his failure to realize that Ballard was not the defenseman he was advertized to be, nor was he a good fit on this hockey team. Simply put, Ballard should have been traded in the summer after the Canucks went to the finals, even if it was just a dump. It made absolutely no sense to tie up 4.6 million dollars in salar the following year when the Canucks were competing for the Stanley Cup and were right up against the cap.
I'm going to disagree with some of your scouting there but I will agree that he should have been traded a while back if he wasn't going to be a part of the top 4 here.
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