Wild agree on contract with defenseman Ballard

Published 9:36am Friday, July 5, 2013

The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with defenseman Keith Ballard.

The team announced the deal Thursday on Twitter and said paperwork would be filed Friday when the free agent market opens.

The 30-year-old Ballard was let go this week by Vancouver with a compliance buyout to clear space under the salary cap. The former University of Minnesota star managed just two assists in 36 games for the Canucks last season. He will replace defenseman Tom Gilbert, another native of Minnesota, who was dumped by the Wild with a compliance buyout this week.

Ballard has played eight years in the NHL, also with Florida and Phoenix, where he was far more productive. He averaged nearly 30 points over those five seasons with the Panthers and Coyotes.