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. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the deal is worth 3 million for Ballard, who was a compliance buyout by the Vancouver Canucks this week.
Ballard, 30, is from Baudette, Minn., and starred with the Gophers, where he won two National Championships. Ballard has 36 goals and 129 assists in 165 career NHL games with Vancouver, Phoenix and Florida. He was a first-round draft choice, No. 11 overall, in 2002 by the Buffalo Sabres.
"Congrats to Keith Ballard and MN Wild agreeing to 2yr deal," Ballard's agent, Ben Hankinson, wrote on his Twitter page Thursday. "Keith will be great fit. Bally now get out and enjoy...