From George Richards of the Miami Herald:
Since the Panthers season ended, Martin stressed the need for Florida to go out and secure a puck-moving defenseman, someone who can pick up the puck and quickly move it out of the Florida zone. The addition of Ballard and Phoenix teammate Nick Boynton had to be good news to Florida goalies, as Tomas Vokoun and Craig Anderson combined to face more shots than any other goalies in the league last season.
”I spoke to [Coyotes coach] Wayne Gretzky at the draft, and he had nothing but good to say about both of them,” first-year coach Peter DeBoer said Wednesday morning in Weston.
“Ballard is honest, gritty. The kind of guy you have to tell to slow down, not to block shots in practice. Those are my kind of guys, and you can’t have enough of them.”
Read the entire article here.
The Panthers went from defense being a weakness on their team to being a strength all over one weekend. Ballard should be a nice addition to their back-end. As the article states, he can play in all situations. The Panthers are hoping he will help them limit their shots on net and really get their transition game moving.