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July 4, 2013 | 5:44pm ET
Wild expected to sign Ballard

The Minnesota Wild is expected to sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Keith Ballard to a two-year contract, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Ballard, 30, became a free agent after being bought out by the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday morning.

The native of the Baudette, Minnesota, registered two assists and 29 penalty minutes in 36 games with the Canucks this past season.

In 545 career NHL regular-season games with the Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers and Canucks, Ballard has accumulated 36 goals and 129 assists for 165 points, and 549 penalty minutes.

Ballard was originally drafted 11th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Meanwhile, the Star-Tribune confirmed that the Wild will not re-sign center Matt Cullen.

"I really enjoyed my time there," Cullen told the paper. "It was more than I would have ever imagined as far as playing at home and raising my kids there and being part of the organization and watching the organization grow from where it was three years ago to where it is now. I just leave with a lot of positive memories."

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