Posted July 04, 2013 on
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This Fourth of July for the Minnesota Wild was a little less eventful than the last.
Still, the Wild made another holiday splash by bringing in more help for their blue line.
The Wild announced Thursday they agreed to terms on a two-year contract with defenseman Keith Ballard, who was available after being let go by Vancouver earlier this week with a compliance buyout to clear space under the salary cap.
The Wild said paperwork for Ballard's deal would be filed Friday, when the free agent market opens. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported Ballard's contract is worth $3 million. He was scheduled to make $4.2 million in each of the final two seasons of his previous deal with the Canucks.
The 30-year-old Ballard managed just two assists in 36 games for Vancouver in 2013. Over three seasons there since being acquired in a draft-day trade in 2010 with Florida, Ballard had only 16 points in 148 games. He was hindered by several injuries.
Before that, though, the former University of Minnesota star was far more productive. Over five seasons with Phoenix and Florida, he averaged nearly 30 points while playing in 97 percent of the games. As a rookie with the Coyotes in 2005-06, Ballard had eight goals and 31 assists and played in all 82 games. In his first year with the Panthers in 2008-09, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Ballard had six goals and 28 goals with a plus-14 rating while again playing all 82 games.
Ballard will essentially replace defenseman Tom Gilbert, another local guy, who was dumped by the Wild with a compliance buyout this week. Ballard is from Baudette, Minn., on the Canadian border. He won two NCAA championships in his career with the Gophers.
Another Minnesotan, center Matt Cullen, will be moving on as the Wild's most prominent unrestricted free agent. Cullen told the Star Tribune that Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher informed him he couldn't offer him a fair contract given the team's cap constraints.
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BEST OF MAXIM
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild sure know how to celebrate the Fourth of July.
After signing the two biggest free agents on the market, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, last year on July 4, Minnesota added former University of Minnesota defenseman Keith Ballard on Thursday, according to the team's Twitter account.
Ballard and the Wild agreed to terms on a two-year contract...
Back in May I was suggesting that the Minnesota Wild pick up Keith Ballard and yesterday the former Gopher defenseman was signed by the Minnesota Wild. Also, two players that I wanted to see gone from the Wild roster are no longer here. I am thinking, I need to go out and buy a lottery ticket this weekend. Below is what I wrote...
Based on what I have seen during the past season...
ST. PAUL, Minn. --Chuck Fletcher's memories of defenseman Keith Ballard extend back to Fletcher's days in Pittsburgh, when he was the Penguins' assistant general manager.Fletcher, now as the Minnesota Wild general manager, remembered facing the Florida Panthers and a young defenseman, Ballard, holding his own against Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.In signing him to a...
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild were strapped for cash with the NHL salary cap decreasing to 64.3 million this season and it cost the team defenseman Tom Gilbert.
Minnesota announced Wednesday that it placed Gilbert, who had three goals and 10 assists last season, on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out Gilbert's remaining two years of his contract. Gilbert...
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The full picture of the Minnesota Wild's buyout of Tom Gilbert came into focus Friday.
Minnesota re-signed restricted free agent Jared Spurgeon to a three-year contract and officially signed defenseman Keith Ballard on Friday, using the salary-cap space it gained by buying out defenseman Tom Gilbert this week. With Spurgeon and Ballard, the Wild also have...
The Minnesota Wild have waived defenseman Tom Gilbert.
The team announced the move Wednesday. The 30-year-old Gilbert had one season left on his contract for $3 million.
If he goes unclaimed by another team, the Wild will use one of their two available compliance buyouts to keep Gilbert's money from counting against their salary cap. He would then become an unrestricted free...
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher played a big game of poker in free agency last summer, ultimately coming away with a full house by signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the two biggest names on the market.Fletcher, with a reshaped roster in part because of those two signings, is looking at a much different game this summer with free agency starting...
Just after getting bought out earlier this week by the Vancouver Canucks, defenseman Keith Ballard has agreed to terms on a brand new two year deal with the Minnesota Wild. The deal becomes official tomorrow at noon EST. Ballard tallied a pair of assists, a -2 rating and 29 penalty minutes in his 36 games. Ballard was also just sixth [...]
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chuck Fletcher wasn't quite done working on the first day of NHL free agency.
Fletcher, the Minnesota Wild's general manager, said he didn't expect any more major moves on Friday after the team re-signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon to a three-year deal and officially added defenseman Keith Ballard after free agency opened at 11 a.m. Central on Friday...
After picking up Viktor Stalberg earlier, Nashville has added veteran center Matt Cullen to the fold as well.
Cullen, who will turn 37 this season, scored 27 points last season for the Minnesota Wild. A veteran of 1,073 games in the NHL, Cullen has a lifetime faceoff win percentage of .520%, giving Nashville not just depth up front, but an additional faceoff man as well.
The Minnesota Wild are sending forward Devin Setoguchi to the Winnipeg Jets for a second-round pick in next year's draft.
The deal, completed Friday during a flurry of free-agent signings, gives the Jets another player in their group of top-six forwards.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said recently one of his top priorities was to improve at right wing. He started...
MIN trades Devin Setoguchi to WPG for a draft pick.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 5, 2013
2nd round pick in 2014 to Minny for Setoguchi
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 5, 2013
Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
When defenseman Rob Scuderi and forward Craig Adams were signed today, it seemed highly unlikely that the Penguins could afford to bring back forward Matt Cooke. Considering the contract that he signed with the Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh definitely could not have afforded him. The Wild inked Cooke to a three-year, $7.5 million deal. Therefore...
The last few years this has been the time for Wild fans to expect a major move. In fact, I should say Wild fans have been spoiled by some tremendously bold moves by General Manager Chuck Fletcher who if he's done anything, proven he isn't afraid to pull the trigger (right or wrong) on a big deal in an effort to improve this team. In fact, the events revolving around certain...