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Wild sign Keith Ballard for two years, $3M

Jul 4, 2013, 6:26 PM EDT

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It didn’t take long for the Minnesota Wild to come to terms with former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard. The two parties agreed to a two-year deal on Thursday, which will be worth $3 million overall, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The deal won’t become official until Friday because of CBA reasons.

Before being bought out, the 30-year-old defenseman’s contract was regularly critiqued, whether he was in the Canucks lineup or not.

He collected two assists in 36 regular season games in 2013, averaging 15:28 minutes per night (which falls about in line with his average playing time since 2010-11).

Ballard is a Minnesota native, so he must be delighted by this homecoming. As this post indicates, he could serve as a replacement for Tom Gilbert.

Oh yeah, he’s also a noted practitioner of the hip check, which many view as a dying art. Here’s a memorable one from the 2011 playoffs:

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  1. dtrb10 - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Welcome home Keith!

    • rsmaggiemae - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      Great news

      I have read from other readers of this site, from Vancouver that he was never given a fair chance and that they thought he was really a good player

      He also stated that thier was adveristy in Vancouver… am trying to find out what happened and what went on in Vancouver

      Hope he does well with the Wild

  2. rsmaggiemae - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Great News!!!!

    Only other wish was Leopold back home..

  3. northstarnic - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Nice signing by Mr. Fletcher! I envision our second defensive unit behind brodin and Suter being Ballard and Spurgeon. Ballard’s size and physicality will offset Spurgeon’s lack there of. And Spurgeon can be the guy moving the puck, creating offense From the point

  4. ray2013 - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Is there a website somewhere that lists all of the Minnesota-born players in the NHL? Seems like the Wild want to sign them all.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      http://www.hockey-reference.com/friv/birthplaces.cgi?country=US&province=&state=MN

      Those are just born in Minnesota.

      Then there are players like Tim Jackman of Calgary who was born in North Dakota but ended up playing high school hockey in Minnesota, and players like Sidney Crosby who attended Shattuck- St. Mary, that aren’t listed.

      Lets be honest the best American born players are from Minnesota

      • einjzmolf - Jul 4, 2013 at 10:20 PM

        Except for the best American born player of all time, who was born in Michigan, right?

      • credible316 - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        @einjmolf who was drafted by Minnesota. Close enough for me :)

  5. elvispocomo - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Hope Ballard does well. He had some chances in Vancouver but never took advantage and his contract was just too much to keep. He’ll be better off with a change of scenery I think and I expected Minny to be interested, just not at $4.2M.

  6. dominiqueusa - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:01 PM

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