I like Keith Ballard.
I liked him with he played in Phoenix. I liked him when he played in Florida. And I like him as a Vancouver Canuck.
I was very excited when the Canucks traded for him in late-June 2010. When the Canucks signed Dan Hamhuis less than a week later, I was over the moon – what an upgrade to our defense!
Unfortunately, Ballard had off-season surgery before he even played his first game in a Vancouver uniform and then he was concussed just four games into the regular season. Add a sprained MCL and the first benching of his professional career and it was a forgettable 2010-11 season for Ballard despite the team’s success.
Since then, he has been a frequent visitor to coach Alain Vigneault’s doghouse. Ballard’s most recent stay started on Saturday night when he was replaced in the lineup by Albert Alberts and it continued on Sunday night when Cam Barker took his spot.
So what may have caused his latest benching? Along with the help of some loyal CHB readers, I present to you The Top 10 Reasons Why Keith Ballard is Back in AV’s Doghouse:
10. Ballard cut in front of AV in the food lineup at lunch on Saturday.
9. Ballard signed AV up for a 7 hour time share presentation in exchange for a free T-shirt. (Submitted by @ECdevoff)
8. Ballard hid AV’s favourite flavour of gum. (Submitted by @BCBerrie)
7. Ballard didn’t work hard enough to maintain or increase his height. (Submitted by @jedski)
Check out this funny spot with Ali G and Ben Wallace from 2006.
6a. Ballard ate the last of AV’s favourite lozenge he brought back from his LONG summer vacation. (Submitted by @s0ya)
6b. Ballard stole AV`s last pack of lozenges before they got on the plane. (Submitted by @vansport)
Ah yes – Vigneault’s famous throat lozenges. The ones he powers through on the bench or in the pre and post game media scrums.
5. Ballard makes forward passes, and AV wants his d-men to make drop passes instead. (Submitted by @lo__b)
4. Ballard didn’t change his last name to Sedin. (Submitted by @acheung14)
This is a clever reference to Ballard’s classic answer to Canucks TV’s Kathy Anderson question of how to get on to the coach’s good side. Ballard’s answer: “Good question. Working on that for 3 years. Change your last name to Sedin.”
3. Vigneault is good friends with Tomas Vokoun.
Not Ballard’s finest moment.