Fantasy Analysis: Florida has dealt defenseman Keith Ballard and winger Victor Oreskovich to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for wingers Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner, and the 2010 1st round draft selection (25th overall).


The Canucks get: A feisty, mobile, two-way defenseman capable of logging heavy minutes and putting up 30-40 points. Ballard can play in all situations, and he loves to throw massive body checks, something lacking on Vancouver’s back end in 2009-10. Oreskovich is an interesting player – he took a year and a half off of hockey but decided to return to it last year. He is massive and very mobile, but the rest of his game needs serious work. The Canucks will be overhauling the defense this summer, so don’t expect Ballard to be the last player moved in (or out). A great part of his game is durability, as he has played in all 82 games in four of the last five seasons. The Canucks have had their share of injury woes with regards to defensemen over the last few years.


The Panthers get: A late first round draft pick (the Panthers selected Quinton Howden with it), a superb young winger in Grabner, and an inconsistent depth forward in Bernier. Grabner is the key to this deal for the Panthers. He has incredible speed and a great shot. Look for him to slot in on one of the top two lines. Bernier was highly touted coming out of junior, but he has yet to develop into the bruising goal scorer that many had expected or hoped.


Fantasy Players Impacted: The Canucks have more moves to make on the back end, so it is tough to say where Ballard slots in with regards to the two power play units. The Canucks were the league’s second most offensive club last season, so even if he plays more of a two-way role, expect Ballard to return to the 35 or 40 point level. Ballard found out about the trade while golfing with soon-to-be-UFA Paul Martin, who the Canucks will surely target come July 1st. Those two would make a fantastic pairing in Vancouver’s top four.


This deal is great for Grabner, as he goes from a team incredibly deep at forward to one lacking high-end talent. He could hit the 25 goal mark if he sees consistent time with the man advantage. Bernier may enjoy the change of scenery (although the Panthers become the fourth club he has played for at the NHL level), but he doesn’t have the head or hands to be a regular offensive contributor at the NHL level. This deal may hurt Florida’s young offensive wingers like Michal Repik (although there isn’t much past him).


I expect Vancouver and Florida to be two of the busiest clubs this off-season, so evaluating this deal on its own is probably not ideal. The Canucks need to retool their bottom two lines, while Florida’s new GM Dale Tallon wants to continue with the sweeping changes.


Players this helps, in order:


1. Vokoun (I kid...) Grabner

2. Raymond (solidifies his spot in the top six)

3. Ballard

4. Samuelsson

5. Bieksa (obvious trade bait, needs more PP time elsewhere)


Players this hurts, in order:

1. Repik

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Larry said:

Shirokov vs Grabner Shirokov's path to the NHL maybe clearer without Grabner in the way,albeit Schroeder may now be ahead of him (should be an interesting training camp). Grabners speed is outstanding it should allow him plenty of chances to make the NHL,even if it means on the lower 2 lines (still has some defensive lapses thou), not sure if you can say the same about Shirokov- but he does seem to have a great attitude,
June 27, 2010
Votes: +1

david said:

... yes, Shirokov's path to the squad is a bit more clear, but it's still a long path. The top 6 is set, and Gillis has stated he's looking to get tougher and more defensive in the bottom 6, so where does he fit? Still behind Hodgson and Schroeder in the offensive prospect list too... Unless he really impresses in camp he's be back in the minors, but a quicker callup perhaps.

I like the Ballard add, but not the price. Cant help but feel the cost was not hugely different from the Horton or Halak trades, and now Ballard is the Canucks #1 D ..?

Admitedly I dont know that much about him, but he seems a 30-pt, non #1, career-minus LHS on admitedly weak teams. Lets hope he's as good as many seem to say, and earns his $4M+ for 5 years with NTC ...
June 26, 2010
Votes: +1

fzusher said:

... FLA: Frolik replaces Horton, Grabner replaces Frolik, Bernier replaces Campbell, Dadonov has no roster spot and goes home.

VAN: You seem to think this helps Raymond and (in the ramblings) Schroeder, but what about Shirokov?
June 26, 2010
Votes: -1
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