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2010 NHL Entry Draft: Keith Ballard becoming a popular topic

Over the past 12 hours or so one new named has cropped up in trade speculation, and this time these ‘rumors’ have some legs.

The Florida Panthers have been active in Los Angeles (or at least trying to be) as they look to make some moves on draft day. It appears that defenseman Keith Ballard is being actively shopped via trade, and he’s been linked to a number of teams so far this afternoon.

Right now, it appears that the St. Louis Blues have the most interest, as Jeremy Rutherford is saying that sources with the team state the team is interested in Ballard.

Ballard is under contract for five more seasons at $4.2 million per year, a reasonable contract for one of the better defensemen in the NHL. It’s also important to note that he has a no-trade clause.

Of course, any team that starts talking with Florida about Ballard instantly sees their goaltender run and hide as quickly as possible. That could be a problem.