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Can Ballard turn his game around?

View Poll Results: Can Ballard turn his game around and be worth his contract.
Yes, he can under the right circumstances. 101 69.66%
No chance in hell 44 30.34%
Voters: 145. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-05-2013, 08:49 PM
  #51
ProstheticConscience
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Can he get his game back? Sure.

Will he get the chance here? Jesus I hope not. And I'm in the camp that thinks Ballard wasn't given anything like a fair shake. He and Tanev were our best defensive pairing when all the other guys were brain-dead to start this season, in case nobody else remembers that far back. He should have absolutely been in the lineup over Barker. I don't have any idea who someone who watched both players could say otherwise.

That being said, his cap hit is obviously wayyyyy too big to retain for what he did here even at his hipchecking, free-wheeling best. Buyout. Has to be.

And I hope he gets his head together and gets another shot somewhere else.

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Old
06-05-2013, 08:55 PM
  #52
Wilch
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Sure he can. But I doubt he'll be around to do that.

Even if he does turn his game around, he's not worth $4.2m. At his best, he's a $1~$1.5m defender due to his inconsistency and poor hockey IQ. He makes Bieksa-esque gaffes while never providing the same amount returns. The risk to reward ratio in his plays is brutal.

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Old
06-05-2013, 09:45 PM
  #53
Dissonance
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These endless Ballard threads are surreal.

Are there *any* examples anywhere of defensemen who showed nothing for three years in a bottom-pairing role and then somehow magically blossomed into a quality top-4 guy when given the chance?

Ballard just isn't very good. I have no idea what he was like in Florida, but over the past three years he's been incapable of pushing the play forward and usually ends up getting pinned in his own zone a bunch, chasing the puck around. And that's all while playing 15 sheltered minutes a night. Confidence isn't the issue. Hockey sense is.

Who knows? Hopefully he'll find a role somewhere else. He seems like a great guy. But it would be utterly deranged to pencil him in for a top-4 role next season. I can't believe this is even a question.

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06-05-2013, 10:53 PM
  #54
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I agree with MS as well. Even Tanev seemed to have better offensive instincts than Ballard did.

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06-05-2013, 10:59 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Samzilla View Post
If Ballard is allowed to carry the puck for more than 10 feet then yes. Carrying the puck is his skill, not breakout passes.
This. For the love of god this.

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06-05-2013, 11:29 PM
  #56
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This. For the love of god this.
No, not even remotely that.

Again, the notion that our system - where we were consistently one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL, where Ehrhoff, Bieksa, Edler were allowed to freely rush the puck, where a guy like Hamhuis comes in from a defense-oriented team and produces career offensive years - somehow hamstrung Ballard and he was the only guy not allowed to join the play is so utterly absurd it shouldn't even bear discussion.

Ballard was allowed to rush the puck. He just doesn't have the hockey sense to pick the spots to do it very often or make anything happen out of it when he does.


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Originally Posted by Shareefruck View Post
I agree with MS as well. Even Tanev seemed to have better offensive instincts than Ballard did.
Honestly, I'd argue that Shane O'Brien had better offensive instincts than Ballard.

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Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
These endless Ballard threads are surreal.

Are there *any* examples anywhere of defensemen who showed nothing for three years in a bottom-pairing role and then somehow magically blossomed into a quality top-4 guy when given the chance?

Ballard just isn't very good. I have no idea what he was like in Florida, but over the past three years he's been incapable of pushing the play forward and usually ends up getting pinned in his own zone a bunch, chasing the puck around. And that's all while playing 15 sheltered minutes a night. Confidence isn't the issue. Hockey sense is.

Who knows? Hopefully he'll find a role somewhere else. He seems like a great guy. But it would be utterly deranged to pencil him in for a top-4 role next season. I can't believe this is even a question.
Absolutely spot on.

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Old
06-05-2013, 11:35 PM
  #57
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This is such a load of crap.
Yes, of course it is.

Ballard had every opportunity to get it done, and didn't.

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Old
06-05-2013, 11:41 PM
  #58
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I don't understand how Keith Ballard could be an exciting puck rushing player in two cities and then forget how to play.

So, I think he still has game.

How can you not want to add this kind of element?

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=112038

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Old
06-05-2013, 11:48 PM
  #59
MS
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Originally Posted by Dado View Post
Yes, of course it is.

Ballard had every opportunity to get it done, and didn't.
Fair enough, didn't realize you were being sarcastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yammer View Post
I don't understand how Keith Ballard could be an exciting puck rushing player in two cities and then forget how to play.

So, I think he still has game.

How can you not want to add this kind of element?

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=112038
How could Mike Komisarek be a bone-crushing top-4 defender and then forget how to play?

How could Colby Armstrong be a quality two-way top-6 winger and one of the best open-ice hitters in the league and then forget how to play?

Not all players have the same development curve. Some guys just lose it.

Ballard has been rubbish for 4 seasons in a row. It isn't his coach.

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Old
06-06-2013, 12:00 AM
  #60
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Paul Martin did sohe could

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Old
06-06-2013, 12:02 AM
  #61
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He's been poor throughout his entire tenure with the Canucks; other than rushing the puck and delivering hip checks, he really doesn't bring much else to the table. He's unable to pass, unable to actually defend and gets caught chasing or looking. He's also made some boneheaded plays like that one playoff game where he tries to catch the damn puck that was shot which ended up in the back of the net.

With the cap coming down, it's a no brainer. It's most likely he'll be dealt for pennies on the dollar (like a 5th rounder or less) or even bought out. He's like a better version of Mike Komisarek, meaning he's a slightly less deadweight.

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06-06-2013, 12:05 AM
  #62
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The only issue is do we have the cap space to afford him the chance to turn things around?

Would you rather keep Ballard or Bieksa (given the potential return on either player).

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Old
06-06-2013, 01:03 AM
  #63
RobertKron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yammer View Post
I don't understand how Keith Ballard could be an exciting puck rushing player in two cities and then forget how to play.

So, I think he still has game.

How can you not want to add this kind of element?

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=112038
That video shows why Ballard is ****. For all his problems in his own end, the payoff is a guy skating the puck up with tunnel vision and turning a 4-man rush into a 1-on-3 and wasting a shot from just inside the line. What in that video is actually appealing aside from that he skates real fast and runs into someone?

The guy consistently puts his head down and skates himself into dead ends and then spends the rest of the shift scrambling around as if he's never heard of positional responsibilities trying to fix his mistakes. And somehow people applaud him for it because sometimes he hip checks someone.


Last edited by RobertKron: 06-06-2013 at 01:09 AM.
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Old
06-06-2013, 01:28 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by RobertKron View Post
That video shows why Ballard is ****. For all his problems in his own end, the payoff is a guy skating the puck up with tunnel vision and turning a 4-man rush into a 1-on-3 and wasting a shot from just inside the line. What in that video is actually appealing aside from that he skates real fast and runs into someone?

The guy consistently puts his head down and skates himself into dead ends and then spends the rest of the shift scrambling around as if he's never heard of positional responsibilities trying to fix his mistakes. And somehow people applaud him for it because sometimes he hip checks someone.
Yup. It's freaking bizarre.

I've said this before, but the treatment of Ballard vs. Rome is the strangest thing I've ever seen from a fanbase, in any sport, ever.

Ballard is basically Marc Chouinard - a high-priced veteran acquisition who has proceeded to play like absolute rubbish, and was kept in the lineup over better, younger, cheaper players who were outplaying him.

Rome was basically Alex Burrows - a hard-working (and Western Canadian, in Rome's case), likeable guy who worked his ass off to get to the NHL after years in the minors, and was outplaying a $4.5 million veteran at both ends of the rink while earning the league minimum.

This should have gone the Potvin-Essensa route, where Ballard was basically run out of town and Rome was highly popular.

Instead, the low-paid over-achiever is vilified and made the butt of jokes, while the high-priced waste of space becomes a misunderstood hero, who would be a star here if not for the treatment he received from the Evil Coach.

And the thing is, those two guys played basically identical minutes. Rome was better at both ends of the rink, more consistent, more physical. Yet somehow Rome is Vigneault's pet who doesn't deserve those 16 minutes while Ballard is the unlucky whipping boy who should be playing 20. The lack of sense just makes my head spin.

Rome should have been playing MORE and Ballard LESS, if anything, based on their performance. Ballard actually had quite a lot of slack cut for him on account of his pedigree.

And yeah, I guess it's on account of how Ballard would throw 3 AWESOME! hipchecks every year that captured the imagination of fans, and would look kinda nice rushing the puck on occasion until he screwed it up.

__________

As for the video, yeah, textbook Ballard.

Looks kind of impressive for a moment and then turns something into nothing because he has no idea what's happening around him. All the puck-rushing ability in the world is useless if you can't distribute the puck to create actual offense.

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Old
06-06-2013, 03:06 AM
  #65
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He can only realistically stay if another big money defenceman is traded. Canucks don't have cap space for him as a 5th. The problem with that is the rest have no trades.

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Old
06-06-2013, 10:43 AM
  #66
Dissonance
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Paul Martin did so he could
Even when Paul Martin didn't look stellar (I assume you're talking about the previous two seasons in Pittsburgh) he was still playing 23 minutes a night and leading the Penguins in ES ice time.

There's really an enormous difference between a player like Martin who struggles or makes errors playing 23 minutes a night on the top pairing and a player like Ballard who struggles playing 15 sheltered minutes a night. The former might well be in a bad situation or overplayed or whatnot. The latter is likely just not very good.

Same goes for guys like Bieksa or Edler. They made a whole bunch of cringe-inducing plays this season, sure, but they're in a completely different stratosphere from Ballard.

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Old
06-06-2013, 12:19 PM
  #67
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I'd love to give him that chance after all he has put up with thanks to AV. Unfortunately, we just do not have the cap space.

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Old
06-06-2013, 02:37 PM
  #68
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Ballard might go somewhere and do well. He can carry the puck. He can throw a check. He is feisty. Some system might allow him to work more from his strengths. He is like an AHL player with some NHL moves.

I think the point is moot, though, as Booth won't likely be cleared to play in time to be a buyout. This means Ballard must go (Lu, too!). On one hand, it's too bad. I would have loved to see if Ballard can be salvaged by Eakins or some similar scenario. It might be good for Ballard to go elsewhere and maybe find a fit. Suppose Ballard's job is to rip up the wing during changes, or rush up the ice and pass to Visnovsky. He could do that, maybe?

I'm not very hopeful that somebody takes Ballard, but it could happen. As it stands, Luongo and Ballard are expensive spares with diminished value. Ballard has been a bottom pairing defenseman and Luongo has been a back-up. Are these players ruined and how does that make the team look? That's the aspect of the OP's question I find most compelling.

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Old
06-06-2013, 03:13 PM
  #69
RobertKron
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
Yup. It's freaking bizarre.

I've said this before, but the treatment of Ballard vs. Rome is the strangest thing I've ever seen from a fanbase, in any sport, ever.

Ballard is basically Marc Chouinard - a high-priced veteran acquisition who has proceeded to play like absolute rubbish, and was kept in the lineup over better, younger, cheaper players who were outplaying him.

Rome was basically Alex Burrows - a hard-working (and Western Canadian, in Rome's case), likeable guy who worked his ass off to get to the NHL after years in the minors, and was outplaying a $4.5 million veteran at both ends of the rink while earning the league minimum.

This should have gone the Potvin-Essensa route, where Ballard was basically run out of town and Rome was highly popular.

Instead, the low-paid over-achiever is vilified and made the butt of jokes, while the high-priced waste of space becomes a misunderstood hero, who would be a star here if not for the treatment he received from the Evil Coach.

And the thing is, those two guys played basically identical minutes. Rome was better at both ends of the rink, more consistent, more physical. Yet somehow Rome is Vigneault's pet who doesn't deserve those 16 minutes while Ballard is the unlucky whipping boy who should be playing 20. The lack of sense just makes my head spin.

Rome should have been playing MORE and Ballard LESS, if anything, based on their performance. Ballard actually had quite a lot of slack cut for him on account of his pedigree.

And yeah, I guess it's on account of how Ballard would throw 3 AWESOME! hipchecks every year that captured the imagination of fans, and would look kinda nice rushing the puck on occasion until he screwed it up.

__________

As for the video, yeah, textbook Ballard.

Looks kind of impressive for a moment and then turns something into nothing because he has no idea what's happening around him. All the puck-rushing ability in the world is useless if you can't distribute the puck to create actual offense.
Basically it seems to come down to this:

Small player that is speedy or has good hands playing a limited role - HFVan loves him, he'd be so much more if they'd just give him a chance!
Ex. Brandon Reid, Sergei Shirokov, Keith Ballard, Jordan Schroeder

Normal-sized, not so flashy player playing a limited role - HFVan hates him. Coach's pet. No hands. No heart. Can't play. Ship him out.
Ex. Aaron Rome, Steve Bernier, Taylor Pyatt, early years Ryan Kesler, early years Alex Burrows (remember when he was only on the team because he was french?), early years Sedins, etc.

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Old
06-06-2013, 03:24 PM
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertKron View Post
Basically it seems to come down to this:

Small player that is speedy or has good hands playing a limited role - HFVan loves him, he'd be so much more if they'd just give him a chance!
Ex. Brandon Reid, Sergei Shirokov, Keith Ballard, Jordan Schroeder

Normal-sized, not so flashy player playing a limited role - HFVan hates him. Coach's pet. No hands. No heart. Can't play. Ship him out.
Ex. Aaron Rome, Steve Bernier, Taylor Pyatt, early years Ryan Kesler, early years Alex Burrows (remember when he was only on the team because he was french?), early years Sedins, etc.
That's not necessarily true, look at Roy for instance. He was loved at the beginning because he has a good history and filled a need as well as had a good start, but we quickly turned on him because he was invisible and soft.

Yes, flashier and more offensive players tend to be liked more than safer, more 'boring' players but that is true for most teams. That isn't the case a lot of the time though.

Look at the huge hard on for Chris Tanev despite him only playing bottom pairing minutes and providing nothing offensively. I like Tanev a lot, but he gets so overrated by Canuck fans.

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Old
06-06-2013, 03:27 PM
  #71
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Why would he need to? His game was just fine, all the perceived problems stemmed from a coach that didn't know how to use him, and then blew up his confidence.
Exactly, Gillis brought him in to play top four minutes and under AV and staff he was a healthy scratch more often than not

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06-06-2013, 03:30 PM
  #72
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That's not necessarily true, look at Roy for instance. He was loved at the beginning because he has a good history and filled a need as well as had a good start, but we quickly turned on him because he was invisible and soft.

Yes, flashier and more offensive players tend to be liked more than safer, more 'boring' players but that is true for most teams. That isn't the case a lot of the time though.

Look at the huge hard on for Chris Tanev despite him only playing bottom pairing minutes and providing nothing offensively. I like Tanev a lot, but he gets so overrated by Canuck fans.
Yeah, I should have amended that, but I was too lazy. There's an underdog factor, too, which covers guys like Tanev. And he's still undersized, too.

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06-06-2013, 04:23 PM
  #73
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Maybe he will and maybe he won't but I don't get how you guys are so righteously indignant about your assessment of him as a player.

As a top-4 guy, $4.2M is pretty much the going price. I guess the debate then is whether he is top-4. Maybe not on this team, but to say he is worth $1-2M when the only decent defencemen who could slot into a top-4 on ANY team are guys on ELC's or bridge contracts.

Using his performance on this team as an assessment when there was clearly a disconnect between him and the coaching staff isn't a very sound argument. Yeah, there might be a bias towards him for whatever underdog mentality you guys are trying to push here, but for any player the circumstances of the team is a very important factor.

Who knows, he will probably be traded - maybe he'll suck again. Maybe he'll go back to the guy he was before he came here. Maybe he'll find another level above even that. But I find it funny that many of you are so dead certain what his future holds based on arguments against him that are just as spotty as the ones for him.

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06-06-2013, 04:38 PM
  #74
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Exactly, Gillis brought him in to play top four minutes and under AV and staff he was a healthy scratch more often than not
The way I see it is that Ballard was Gillis' pre-emptive plan B in case he couldn't land Hamhuis. He became a spare wheel almost immediately.

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06-06-2013, 04:44 PM
  #75
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Maybe he will and maybe he won't but I don't get how you guys are so righteously indignant about your assessment of him as a player.

As a top-4 guy, $4.2M is pretty much the going price. I guess the debate then is whether he is top-4. Maybe not on this team, but to say he is worth $1-2M when the only decent defencemen who could slot into a top-4 on ANY team are guys on ELC's or bridge contracts.

Using his performance on this team as an assessment when there was clearly a disconnect between him and the coaching staff isn't a very sound argument. Yeah, there might be a bias towards him for whatever underdog mentality you guys are trying to push here, but for any player the circumstances of the team is a very important factor.

Who knows, he will probably be traded - maybe he'll suck again. Maybe he'll go back to the guy he was before he came here. Maybe he'll find another level above even that. But I find it funny that many of you are so dead certain what his future holds based on arguments against him that are just as spotty as the ones for him.
I find it funny how people claim he had a great opportunity here and just miserably failed...talk about deluded. Before he even laced up his skates in Vancouver he was minimized and treated differently than every other D-man here. He may not have played up to his capabilities but he certainly wasn't given a lot of support by the coaching staff.

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