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Panthers Trade Official, Keith Ballard Off to Vancouver

  Ballard3LOS ANGELES -- After two seasons with the Panthers, Keith Ballard is moving once once more.

The former Phoenix Coyote is off to Vancouver after Dale Tallon traded him west for forward Steve Bernier and the No. 25 pick in tonight's draft.

This trade is not official nor has it been announced. The Canucks could still keep their 25th pick if there is a player they like. If that's the case, Florida gets Vancouver's first pick next year.

This is an obvious salary dump, with Ballard making $4.2 million in each of the next five seasons.

Bernier, who scored 11 goals with 11 assists in 59 games for the Canucks last season, is making $2 million next season and is a restricted free agent in 2011.

Florida also gets Michael Grabner and gives up Victor Oreskovich.

Grabner, a right wing, makes $843,000 (which is a touch more than VicOres) and is a RFA after next season.

While it's a salary move, Bernier is a good player and now Tallon has three picks in the top 25. Look for another move, probably involving moving up in the draft.

The fun is just beginning.

-- Ballard came to the Panthers in 2008 when Jacques Martin sent Olli Jokinen to the Coyotes for Ballard, Nick Boynton (whom the Panthers let go after one season and won the Cup with the Hawks earlier this month) and a draft pick.

-- The Panthers last big trade with the Canucks came in 2006 when Florida sent Roberto Luongo and Lukas Krajicek west for Todd Bertuzzi, Alex Auld and Bryan Allen. The Panthers hope this won works out better than that one.

-- The Panthers will also have a lower salary this coming season than they did in the last. While the Nathan Horton-Dennis Wideman trade was a financial wash, this latest deal cuts $2.2 million. More moves are apparently on the way.


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With Grabner also included, this is a good trade for the Panthers

really? How is this a good trade? One of our few character players? one of the few guys that gave 110%... I like tallon, but this one confuses me and does smell like a salary dump.

I have ALWAYS wanted to find a way to grab Grabner, this is AWESOME!! Tallon you ROCK!

Grabner is a young sniper who has done pretty well in his time with the Canucks. Ballard was somewhat expendible after the Bruins trade and the 25th pick in a deep draft is a nice piece for Tallons rebuild

It's a salary dump, and ya know what, I don't care. Gudbranson was the guy that made sense, and The Cats did the right thing for once(in a long time). I love the pick, and I can't wait to see what Tallon does throughout the draft. Tallon isn't making moves for the upcoming season, he's making moves for the season after that(2011/2012), where you(potentially) see a top four defensive corps of Kulikov, Gudbranson, Garrison, and Ellerby, not to mention guys Colby Robak and Adam Comrie(and who else they might draft tonight). This is how you build a winning team, from the goal(Markstrom) out. So far, so good, IMO.

Keep on changing the culture in the clubhouse. More new blood is necessary... thru the draft or through free agency - favorite quote of the day: When ESPN.com asked a Panthers source about Ballard being in play, the source responded: "They're all in play."

Its a conditional trade

If Vancouvers guy is there at 25,we get their 1st round pick next year instead of this year

Ballard is an admirable player, but he's way overpaid.... He's a 3rd or 4th Dman, and you can find some of those for about $2.5-3 mill, not $4.2 mill... Great move to get rid of salary....

Bernier isn't anything special, so he'll play out his contract and probably be moved. Grabner has offensive potential, probably more of a Zednik-clone...

Alot of Canucks fans are pissed at this deal because of Grabner

They're all really high on him

As they should be, and now it looks like Fowler and Gormley are sliding, which begins to make The Cats 15th pick more valuable, IMO. Damn, I was hoping Burmistrov would last until 15(wishful thinking, I know). Well, it looks like(if The Cats stay at 15) Etem, or maybe Watson, IMO.

Damn if Fowler is gonna be their at 15 we'd get a hell of a steal

Damn, Granlund was taken MUCH higher than I thought he would be. I expect Tarasenko to be taken higher than initially thought, as well.

I still can't believe that Fowler and Gormley are STILL on the board...And The Rangers have got to be kidding with that last pick of McIlrath.

Hmmmmm....The Cats, from what I can foretell, are about to have one hell of a good problem. It looks like either Fowler or Gormley, as well as, Tarasenko, Watson, and Etem might be available at 15.........What do you do?

There goes Fowler....about time. Well, two picks left until 15, and 4 good prospects available. This pick(#15), IMO, will say more about what Tallon looks for in a prospect than #3 was.

Schwartz!!!!! Whaaaaaaa? Apparently John Davidson's gut has grown, while his brain has shrunk!!

I don't know exactly what they see in Schwartz that they didn't see in Etem or Nelson, or even Pitlick.

I guess when you get a man-crush(and given Davidson's current girth, that's a crush that would make an anaconda jealous), you go out on a limb.....careful John.

Hmmmm...Looks like Tallon doesn't see a player he likes enough at 15, so he trades the pick, moves down 4 spots to 19, and picks up another 2nd rounder(#59).

Maybe those 2 of those 4 2nd round picks might be used for a trade up late in the 1st.

I like Watson at 19 for The Cats.

Look for Etem, Bjugstad, and Watson to come off the board next, but not necessarily in that order.

I too like Watson the best of that group.

WOW...Talk about off the board...Hishon!!!??? I certainly hope they(The Avs) have a good supply of phone books to sit on at the big-boys dinner table.

*For him to sit on.

Wish we would of got Etem

I'm a huge Canucks fan and you guys got a great player in Grabner. His speed is something to behold. His NHL touch isn't there yet but he is a pure sniper.

Bernier on the other hand is a major bum. All that power play time and nothing. He is horrid watching him live. He is always behind the play. Good riddance and likely the reason the Canucks sacrificed Grabner, cause someone had some sort of interest in Bernier.

I liked Ballard when he was with the 'yotes. Don;t get to see FLA play much.

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