Gophers alum Keith Ballard agrees to two-year deal with Minnesota Wild
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Former University of Minnesota defenseman Keith Ballard agreed to terms Thursday to join the Minnesota Wild.
Ballard settled on a two-year, $3 million deal ($1.5 million per year) with the Wild shortly after the Vancouver Canucks chose to buy out the remaining two years of his contract, a source confirmed to KSTP-TV and 1500ESPN.com.
Ballard, who is a native Baudette, Minn., spent the last three of his eight years in the NHL with Vancouver. The 30-year-old defenseman cleared unconditional waivers at 11 a.m. Thursday morning, opening the way for teams to immediately start making offers.
As Ballard joins the Wild, veteran center Matt Cullen is making his exit. The Star Tribune reported the Wild have opted not to re-sign Cullen, leaving him to officially become a free agent as of 11 a.m. on Friday.
Cullen, who, like Ballard, is a Minnesotan, spent three seasons with the Wild. Cullen scored 33 goals in 193 games with Minnesota.