Canucks’ Ballard opens up about working relationship with coach Vigneault
With the Vancouver Canucks’ season now over, following a sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, many questions surround management as to which players will be back for the 2013-14 campaign.
The future of defenseman Keith Ballard with the Canucks remains in the balance, especially now that teams have two compliance buyouts.
The Canucks acquired Ballard in June of 2010, giving the Florida Panthers back Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and a first-round draft pick.
But the last three years have not gone well for Ballard, who has two years remaining on his contract that is a $4.2 million cap hit.
He’s dealt with injuries and been a constant guest in head coach Alain Vigneault’s doghouse when healthy.
A healthy scratch for Vancouver’s only four playoff games this spring, Ballard’s working relationship with Vigneault was brought up when he spoke with reporters at Rogers Arena on Thursday.
His response was surprising.
“I get along with him actually really well,” said Ballard. “I don’t always agree with his decisions but that’s life, right?”
And as for Ballard’s future in Vancouver, general manager Mike Gillis said no decision has been made on who could be facing a buyout this off-season.
“There’s a lot of moving parts here,” said Gillis.
“Like I said…there’s very little supply out there. We have to see how things turn out before we’re going to commit to making any decision like that.”