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Minnesota Wild sign defenseman Keith Ballard to a 2 year deal

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Ballard will most likely be the 3rd pairing counterpart to Clayton Stoner

Welcome to the Wild Ballard!
Welcome to the Wild Ballard!
Stephen Dunn

The Minnesota Wild continued their tradition of July 4th signings today, inking defenseman Keith Ballard to a two year deal. Ballard was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week.

Make sure to check out Brigid22's article about why Ballard would be a good fit on the Minnesota blue line here.

According to Russo and capgeek, the terms of Ballard's deal are as follows: two years for 3 million, a total cap hit of 1.5 million a year. This leaves plenty of money for the Wild to sign Jared Spurgeon to a new contract.

This also sets up the Wild with a pretty solid blueline. The projected lines for the start of the season are

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Clayton Stoner-Ballard

Nate Prosser

Everyone likes to hate on Stoner, but he plays well on limited minutes, and will be a decent guy for the 3rd pair.

Ballard is coming off a rough year with the Canucks, much like Tom Gilbert for the Wild. This trade is basically getting a guy who had a huge price tag but not a lot of production for a much cheaper price.

Wild fans will also be happy to learn that Ballard is not only grew up in Minnesota, but he also is a former Gopher. The Wild are well on their way of pokemon-ing all prodigal sons. Gotta catch em all, gotta catch em all...