Loss of Ballard, Raymond, means Canuck fans need a new default trade package

As expected, on Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks finalized the process of buying out defenceman Keith Ballard. Scheduled to make $4.2 million for each of the next two years, the Minnesota-born blueliner will instead be paid $5.6 million to go away.

I am also willing to be paid that much to not work in Vancouver. Let this be known to foes wherever you may be. Hate this blog and the nonsense written therein? You can shut the whole operation down for the paltry sum of $5.6 million. Same goes for you, Postmedia. We’ll take the buyout, provided it’s $5.6 million.

We’ll quit for real, too. We won’t pull a Ballard and sign with Minnesota, as the jettisoned defenceman did later the same day. From the Wild:

As Minnesota marks the one-year anniversary of signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last Fourth of July, Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the team has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with defenseman Keith Ballard.

[...] Per the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 5-foot-11, 208-pound blueliner can agree to terms with the Wild today, but paperwork cannot be officially filed with the NHL until tomorrow. Stay tuned to Wild.com for further details.

That’s right. The same day the Canucks bought him out, the Wild are announcing him as this year’s Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. You fine folks in Minnesota enjoy Keith “Another man’s treasure” Ballard.

It goes without saying that Ballard won’t be missed in Vancouver, at least on the ice, since we rarely saw him there. We will miss Michael Grabner and the 1st round pick for which Ballard was traded, however.

But while the loss of Ballard does very little to the Canucks’ depth chart, it does leave a gaping hole in the Vancouver market in the trade proposal category.

Ballard was an integral part of seemingly every fantasy trade proposal in this town. To hear the gentlepersons of the Canucks.com message boards tell it, the package of Ballard, Raymond and a 3rd round pick could net you just about anybody, from Corey Perry to Brenden Morrow to Rick Nash to Phil Kessel to the 2013 2nd overall pick and beyond.

Sadly, the Canucks have proven their incompetence yet again, letting the package that could have landed them everyone short of Sidney Crosby go for less than nothing. Not only did they pay to ditch Ballard, but Mason Raymond hits unrestricted free agency tomorrow.

They’ve had two years to turn this magical package into literally anyone in the league. Instead, in the immortal words of Whitney Houston, they have nothing. It’s all very troubling.

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30 comments

  1. Kelvin Yu
    July 4, 2013

    IT’S OKAY GUYS WE STILL HAVE THE FOURTH ROUND PICK

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  2. reuben
    July 4, 2013

    Kassian and Booth for Jamie Benn

    Luongo and Kesler for Malkin and Neal

    The Sedins and two second rounders for Shea Weber

    Acquiring star players is fun and easy!

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    Rating: +18 (from 26 votes)
  3. Reuben
    July 4, 2013

    I forgot Edler!

    Edler and three third rounders for Dubinski and Foligno.

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  4. DanD
    July 4, 2013

    This is a New Van Fan video waiting to happen.

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  5. Jevon
    July 4, 2013

    we still have that used bag of pucks and a coke machine right? I bet that could get us some 3rd line scoring

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    Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
  6. Harry Snepts' Moustache
    July 4, 2013

    I say good for Ballard. I would have liked him to have another shot with a new coach in van, he was horribly misused and on a short leash here.

    I’m a bit surprised he didn’t go somewhere where he had top-4 potential, but who knows, that might still happen.

    Show ‘me they were wrong in Van, Keith!

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  7. steveB
    July 4, 2013

    there have got to be a bunch of partially-used packets of lozenges left in AV’s office, maybe bundle them and a Third Round Pick for Mikhail Grabovski?

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  8. Dr. Kingman
    July 4, 2013

    Gillis has done zip all since he came on as the GM. The team has gotten weaker with his bonehead moves! When will the owners pull the plug on this lame duck they call the GM?

    Go Canucks Go….yeah right

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    • Daniel Wagner
      July 4, 2013

      The Canucks missed the playoffs in 2 of the 3 seasons before Gillis became GM. Just a reminder.

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      • Tom 1040
        July 5, 2013

        That is true Daniel, but how does that equate to Gillis being a ‘good’ GM?

        First, correct me if am wrong, but the year they made the playoffs with Nonis they went to the 2nd round – correct?

        Then, the next year, they were a shoe-in to make the playoffs but utterly collapsed down the stretch losing almost all of their last 10 games – correct? One big reason for this was Luongo absolutely sucked as well as a ton of injuries though my memory fades with age.

        As for Gillis, Nonis left him with a great core most of whom were the primary contributors to the success Gillis took credit for as well as starting with $20M in cap space (thanks, Dave).

        Gillis, I guess, was the reason that the NW became the weakest division by far in the NHL. Hence, someone has to win the division and with no other teams making the playoffs – well, I guess that was Gillis’ greatness as well.

        After the Burke/Nonis core became senior citizens, relatively, and after horrible move after horrible move after horrible move…well, look how quickly the Canucks fell and continue to fall …freely.

        Gillis is so lame I am sure he parks in the handicapped zones.

        Now, the owners are involved in the team, which usually spells more disaster. But, ulitmately, this whole mess of an organization is their fault.

        That’s what you get for hiring a used-car salesman instead of a hockey-man who has paid his dues like all the other GM’s in the league.

        So, this “2 of the 3 seasons before” kind of rhetoric is as flimsy as a house of cards.

        Your thoughts?

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        • Daniel Wagner
          July 5, 2013

          I’m not making any grand point. Just those that say that Gillis was handed a championship team or has somehow made the team weaker since he started as the GM are standing on very shaky ground.

          Yes, the core was left to Gillis by Burke and Nonis, but it was Gillis who chose to re-sign them. He could have cleaned house, fired the coach, traded Kesler, or any number of other moves to put his own stamp on the team. Instead, he took a measured approach, kept Vigneault, re-signed the core to cap-friendly deals, and brought in the type of supporting players that Nonis was never able to.

          What dues did Gillis need to pay? Was being an agent for years and years not enough for you? Who the hell cares about paying dues? How is he not a hockey man? He played professional hockey for six years, including 246 games in the NHL. He was a player agent for 15 years. How the hell is he not a hockey man?

          Meanwhile, over in Toronto, Nonis is once again showing that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, buying out Mikael Grabovski and considering spending big money on Tyler Bozak. Ah, but he’s a “hockey man.” He’s “paid his dues.”

          Gillis has made some good moves and some bad moves. He’s made moves that I’ve disagreed with. But with Gillis as the GM, the Canucks have experienced their most successful era in franchise history. If you want to call the Canucks a “mess of an organization,” then I’m just dumbfounded. Did you prefer when the Canucks missed the playoffs year after year? Did you prefer the Mike Keenan/Mark Messier era?

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          • BBoone
            July 5, 2013

            I agree. By the way , is Bill Laforge available? He is a hockey man. Paid his dues etc. Hey I am a hockey man but I wouldn’t even let myself comment on blogs.
            Seriously watching the Canucks retool under Tortorella and with younger players.will the fun to watch. The hockey will be interesting and entertaining and that is all you can ask.

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            • Tom 1040
              July 5, 2013

              C’mon Mr. Boone…Bill Laforge? Please try to be reasonable/current/make reasonable comparisons.

              Watching the Canucks retool under Tortorella with younger players will be fun and entertaining?

              I think you need to get out more.

              Not only will the brand of hockey next year not be fun, there will be a lot of the ‘oldness/staleness’ of what we had to bear last year.

              Canucks do not make the playoffs next year, and Gillis (the flake) resigns.

              Only one of those two outcomes will provide entertainment.

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              • Aaron
                July 5, 2013

                Cmon Tom how is it you already know whats going to happen every year. I have heard complaint after complaint about how we didn’t move up some young talent, how the cupboard was bare (if you place last for 3 years that can be fixed) How Lou sucked. We do need to restock our talent pool but so many fans want a cup now!!! So Gillis has two choices do his best to Ice a competitive team or go into rebuild/reset. We had some young talent that never got utilized or got limited ice time (Coach V). Could Hodgeson not been played as a wing on Keslers line (Coach V) for ice time? Even a minor hockey Coach knows that after 3/4 or 4 soft goals you pull your Goalie (Coach V). Goalies have bad games it happens Lou’s overall Stats are excellent. Yes I’ll Agree that Gillis has made some mstakes but it’s The Coaches job to develope new talent, motivate the players and make game adjustment during a game. Those are the things that have hurt us the most the last few years not who we have playing (Gillis). Just to make a point in your favor. The Goalie controversy last year was Gillis. I too think the upcoming year is going to be very interesting. GO CANUCKS GO!!

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          • akidd
            July 5, 2013

            you know daniel, i used to be right there with you. i think he did great balancing the risk of many transactions. trying to see the big picture, being patient to build team chemistry, lots of good stuff.

            but no more. he let it slippy-slide away since the cup final. a thousand cuts and a couple of big shots too. now it’s not really even his team anymore. that’s not his coach, nor the style of hockey he wants to play. and that’s not his starting goalie. sure he had his chance the last two seasons so that the reigns have been taken from him is his own fault but what happens from here on out may not be his to answer for anymore.

            and careful about invoking the keenan era. cause there’s a good chance we may see some repeat action to some degree. slick-talking ‘tough guy’ gets the owners ear, starts banging heads…then maybe bumps gillis for gm and runs henrik out of town…:)

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            • akidd
              July 5, 2013

              *reins

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          • Tom 1040
            July 5, 2013

            Good points, Daniel.

            However, I take issue with all of them.

            The organization is much weaker since Gillis took over. You say ‘shaky ground’ but don’t explain it. The ground is now quite shaky for the team, and for Gillis (thankfully).

            He re-signed the core? True, but why? Because they were an awesome core and wanted to stay together because they knew that they had a shot at winning it all. From what I listen to sports and sports reporting, winning and winning potential is what attracts players and keeps cores together. Just look at Iginla. Gillis had no hand in building that, nor did he recognize it (or even acknowledge it publicly).

            What’s more, he said that the Sedins may not be part of the core. He almost lost them. He said that the team was very far away from Cup potential. Oh, so he took a measured approach. Right.

            He didn’t clean house because he didn’t know (and doesn’t) his arse from a hole in the ground. He had no experience hiring a coach or coaching team. Zip. He was way over his head before he took the job.

            In fact, what supporting players did he sign to take the team to the promised land? And, who did he let go? The Burke/Nonis core took the team to near promised-land paradise. What did the supporting pieces do? Not a helluva lot.

            And really, Daniel. Except for one magical year where Gillis, AV and Luongo flushed the Cup down the toilet, how much magic has there been? Division titles and NW division assisted President’s Trophies mean little (except for the Cup year).

            As for being a hockey man, name another GM in the league that has not been an assistant GM or worked extensively and intensively in hockey operations. This is what I mean by a hockey man.

            Player agent. Ha! Great, with arrogant Gillis, and as I have stated often in the past, other GM’s want nothing to do with this idiot. I mean, how many times has he been fleeced?

            So, if he isn’t part of the ‘old boyz club’ (hasn’t paid his dues), then he is instantly a pariah. He goes against the grain (sic?) of the institution. Oh, Gillis knows better with his outside the box thinking (e.g. Luongo as captain).

            Jim Nill is a perfect example of what I am saying when I say, ‘paying one’s dues’. The garbage you trot out as paying dues is exactly that – garbage.

            It’s not whether it is good enough for me, or you – it is whether it is good enough to have gained the experience required to run a hockey team. Gillis ain’t got it. And, after 6 years on the job, just look at the last week.

            As for Nonis and Grabovski, I cannot comment because I don’t know enough about that situation. Did Nonis sign him?

            Anyway, to be honest, your response has reinforced my position that Gillis is a know-nothing, lame-duck GM.

            Just look at recent events. Would Dave Nonis have created such a mess? Would any other GM in the league have created such an embarrassing array of ineptitude?

            If yes, I’d like to hear it.

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            • Daniel Wagner
              July 5, 2013

              Paul Holmgren. Dave Nonis. Jay Feaster. Steve Tambellini until he got fired. All “hockey men.” All “paid their dues.” All inept GMs who have royally screwed up managing their teams. You want an embarrassing goaltending situation? Holmgren got rid of Bobrovsky, who went on to win the Vezina, and signed Bryzgalov, who he had to buyout, leaving him with Steve Mason, the worst goaltender in the league.

              If you want to argue that the pieces Gillis brought in did nothing, go for it. It ignores the contributions of Christian Ehrhoff, Chris Higgins, Mikael Samuelsson, Dan Hamhuis, Maxim Lapierre, Manny Malhotra, Chris Tanev, and even Raffi Torres in his one season with the club.

              Gillis let go of Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, and Taylor Pyatt. Supporting pieces that Nonis brought in — Brad Isbister, Byron Ritchie, and Jeff Cowan — never played in the NHL again after the 2007-08 season.

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          • PB
            July 5, 2013

            Good points Daniel. Tom, I don’t think there’s really much point in arguing with you about this; you’ve made your position very clear. It don’t really understand your seeming hatred of Gillis, but you are entitled to it. The scenario that you paint would seem much more accurate to describe a perennial basement dweller rather than a team that since he’s taken over has won the division (as you say an admittedly weak one, though still in my opinion not as weak as the southeast) won two President’s Trophies and gone to game 7 of the SCF. You seem to base all of your arguments on the fact that we lost that Cup — in your words “pissed it away” which is a horrendous overstatement from a hard-fought postseason that most true fans are pretty proud of. You have every right to be critical of Gillis but it has to be based on actual facts — the Sedins being resigned was not an accident by Gillis, as far as I recall he flew over to Sweden to help convince them. Yes, part of the ‘hometown’ discounts’ that a lot of players agreed to likely had to do with the core liking each other. And yes, many of the core players were in fact drafted by Burke or Nonis. Many have pointed out to you here already that that is the case for most teams — will we say forever that the Blackhawks success is due only to Dale Tallon? You go on and on about “hockey guys” and “paying your dues” but with due respect some of the ways you talk about Gillis and the Canucks makes me question how you much you really do understand about the game and how it’s managed. You talk about Nonis and Burke as if they could/can do no wrong. Not only did they not achieve the same levels of success here as Gillis, they arguably have done a pretty poor job afterwards. Burke is (rightly) lambasted for many of his moves in TO. Nonis, if you read the Maple Leaf fan comments, is being excoriated for the Bernier trade, the Bolland trade, and especially buying out Grabovski. The chants of fire Nonis are even louder in TO than the fire Gillis ones are out in Van.

            I have been very unsure about some of the moves that Gillis has made of late — resigning Sestito, the relatively low value of the Schneider trade, the Tortorella hiring. But seeing some of the other unfathomable things going on in the league has made me think two things: 1) we’re still better off having the management team here than many others (Philly, Calgary, and Long Island are just three that come to mind), 2) there’s a lot more behind the scenes going on that involve economics and structural issues in the NHL than we realize.

            If you want to vent your spleen I’d do it at the owners. After yet another lockout, they give themselves an out to unburden millstone contracts. And what do they do right afterwards? Turn around and give those same players — Briere, Lecavalier, etc, HUGE deals. What the hell? Now more than ever I’m glad that we didn’t buy Luongo out — I guarantee you someone would immediately have signed him for $4 million and we’d be left holding the bag.

            I feel a lot more confident in Gillis today after seeing Nonis buy out Grabovski, Chiarelli inexplicably trade Seguin, Peverley and a decent prospect for a much older Eriksson and prospects, and Philadelphia continue to be bat**** crazy.

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            • Daniel Wagner
              July 5, 2013

              I would disagree about the Long Island comment. I honestly think Garth Snow is one of the best GMs in the league. The only issue is that their owner is notoriously stingy, forcing Snow to work within an extremely tight budget. I would also say that the Seguin trade does make sense from a Boston perspective, as Loui Eriksson is very, very good and they got some solid prospects back in the deal. It’s a “win now” type of deal, while the Stars can afford to be patient with Seguin.

              But yeah, the Flyers are a mess. And I’m baffled by any Canucks fan who thinks that the coach and goaltender that got the Canucks to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final were also solely responsible for them losing it. Ridiculous.

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              • PB
                July 5, 2013

                Yes, you’re right about Garth Snow — I loved him as a goalie here and you’re right that with limited resources and an insane owner he’s done a pretty great job picking up spare parts like Moulson, Grabner, Boyes, etc on the cheap. I think the Isles remain in my memory as a poorly managed team because the moronic shadow of Milbury looms so large over them. There’s a “hockey guy” who’s “paid his dues” according to Tom’s logic…

                I still think the Bruins gave up on Seguin way way too early. He’s a proven scorer, even if it evaporated in the playoffs, and he’s young. He’s stupid and literally pissed away much of this season (and I remember last year’s missed curfew in Winnipeg too), though his drinking doesn’t seem to be at Krutovian levels yet. I know everyone says Eriksson is really underrated but he’s still 27 and coming off a meh year — Morrow’s a good prospect but I just think this deal isn’t the best for the Bruins. Not that I care in that I despise them, I just think in Tom’s world of every “boy’s club” gm doing marvelous things and Gillis being a shunned pariah, such comparables might enter just a little…

                I think a lot of the people raging here about Gillis have zero idea what they are talking about and either no memory of the bad years — and they were godawful — or choose to ignore them. The Canucks have been perennially crappy drafters but seeing them pick the Daigneault’s, Petit’s and Polasek’s of the world makes it hard for me to rule recent drafts even close to that bad. The Hodgson trade has nothing on Neely. And the years of both late 80s and late 90s mismanagement make the missteps here pale into nowhere near the comparison. All moves made, mind you, by “hockey guys” who had “paid their dues”…

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              • Tom 1040
                July 5, 2013

                Any chance the server can get fixed?

                I have a rebut for everything coughed up, but I keep losing the post…

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              • Harrison Mooney
                July 5, 2013

                Sorry about that, Tom. This server is unbelievably finicky. Or maybe it just rejects wrong-headed opinions? ;-)

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        • Michael
          July 5, 2013

          Oh my goodness. Tom is in fact a Canucks fan. Just one that feels horribly abused by their history of non-success in cup getting. I feel a kinship. I’ll take another drink, scratch my head, and then refrain from kicking my dog.
          Hugs Tom. Hugs.

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          • Tom 1040
            July 5, 2013

            Was a Canucks fan.

            Will be a Canucks fan again once Gillis, the fraud, is gone.

            And, I don’t really care about a Cup as much as I respect integrity and accountability. It’s often the journey and not the destination that speaks to me.

            As for Gillis, ‘here come the shakes, won’t be much longer now (hey, Harry that’s a movie reference – can you name who said it and what movie?).

            And, please don’t ever kick your dog, Michael.

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            • Dr. Kingman
              July 5, 2013

              “Tom 1040″ ..”will be a fan again once Gillis the fraud is gone”
              That statement says it all for me! Gillis had led the fans down the yellow brick road
              to a fantasy land. He is all smoke and mirrors with his smooth talking BS.
              Canucks have a high paid “Capologist” where was he during all the signings?
              This team has mismanaged the cap budget so badly that there is little money to acquire
              any player of note.

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            • Pavo
              July 5, 2013

              Tom,

              For someone who professes to no longer being a Canuck fan and doesn’t care about the Cup, you spend an awful lot of time and energy venting your spleen about this team.

              As for ‘integrity and accountability’, quite the sanctimonious statement there but believe me there are much worthier causes to get ones knickers in a twist over than hockey. It is only a game.

              Are you Dave Nonis’ mom by any chance?

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  9. Winsy
    July 4, 2013

    Ballard, Raymond and a 3rd rounder for Corey Perry? Who would take that deal? That’s terrible for whomever was trading Perry… Gillis would probably do it if he were the Ducks’ GM, though that’s not saying much these days…

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  10. iain
    July 5, 2013

    what did we do with the bus that jake milford got traded for? surely we could acquire bobby ryan for the bus?

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  11. steveB
    July 5, 2013

    Good Lord, there are some people here who need to write their own blogs rather than clinging to the coattails of PITB.

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