Keith Ballard’s agent thinks buyout would present fresh start

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The Vancouver Canucks might just shed Keith Ballard’s albatross contract by way of a compliance buyout this summer, although the defenseman’s agent Ben Hankinson¬†told the Vancouver Sun that he hasn’t heard word about that one way or another.

Hankinson thinks it would be a good thing for the 30-year-old blueliner if it did happen, though.

“It will be good for him if he does get bought out because he’ll get a fresh start somewhere else,” Hankinson said.

Considering his frequent status as a healthy scratch, one might wonder if “somewhere else” means overseas or the AHL, although Hankinson told the Vancouver Sun that he expects interest from other NHL teams.

It’s unclear when the ball would start rolling on that, as he also believes that the Canucks might try to unload Ballard’s $4.2 million cap hit (which expires after the 2014-15 season) via a trade at the 2013 NHL Draft.

“My guess is they are going to push the trade front as hard as they can, probably up to the (June 30) draft, and see where that takes them,” Hankinson said.

Either way, Ballard’s days with the Canucks look numbered.