Florida Panthers trade Keith Ballard to Vancouver Canucks for Steve Bernier, 25th pick

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ballard.jpgThe Florida Panthers traded defenseman Keith Ballard and prospect Victor Oreskovich to the Vancouver Canucks for big forward Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and the 25th pick, reports George Richards of On Frozen Pond.

New Panthers GM Dale Tallon is shuffling a lot of pieces around and this could be a sign of more things to come as he attempts to rebuild the ailing franchise on the fly.

Ballard had 28 points in 82 games last season and will leave a $4.2 million mark on the Canucks’ salary cap through the 2014-15 season. Of course, his most memorable moment might be when he accidentally high-sticked his own goalie, Tomas Vokoun. Ballard provides extra depth (and a possible replacement for Willie Mitchell) for a Canucks D-core that was racked with injuries last season.

Bernier will provide the Panthers with a big forward to help fill the void left by the recently traded Nathan Horton. The 25th pick will allow Tallon to refresh a depleted farm system in Florida.