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02-28-2013, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CREW99AW View Post
Ballard hasn't been a quality, top 4 d-man for several yrs.

Why would the isles believe he's a quality, top 4 d-man ? Those old tapes from his FL days?

Originally Posted by Nuckles37 View Post
His style of play isn't utilized well in Vancouver.
He likes to carry the puck into the offensive zone, but our coaching staff wants our d-men to pass the puck up to the forwards.
Originally Posted by Cloudedthought View Post
It can be argued where Ballards skill is these days but to be honest I think the Canucks have misused him and he shows flashes of himself once in a well that carries the puck from one end to the other. Our coaching in Van doesnt allow him to play that way very often.
Simply looking at the stats can make it look like Ballard forgot how to play hockey. The truth is that he suffered some nagging injuries, had a difficult time adjusting to a new system that doesn't play to his strengths, and never truly gained the trust of coaches until this year(they let him play important minutes and more various matchups this year IMO).

The biggest thing affecting his production is the Canucks system. It doesn't permit him to gather speed in his own zone and rush the puck up the ice himself as the forwards are tilted toward looking for outlet passes instead of supporting the puck. It demands the D with the puck to be a true passer while Ballards natural instinct is to drift forward if not actively skate the puck forward - that drastically alters passing angles.

Whoever gets Ballard in the next couple years and uses a system with a more conservative breakout will look like geniuses to the average fan. I'm not convinced that GMs around the league (Gillis included) don't know exactly what happened with Ballard. I'd also bet Gillis would demand a high value in the offseason if it weren't for cap realities.

He is not a good fit for Vancouver. I don't know the Isles system well enough to say if he's a good fit there but any team willing to take some chances with their D by supporting them with neutral zone forwards would be smart to try and nab Ballard for a couple years(higher salaries arent such a big deal when the term is short) while his value is low.

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