It didn’t take long for the Minnesota Wild to come to terms with former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard. The two parties agreed to a two-year deal on Thursday, which will be worth $3 million overall, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The deal won’t become official until Friday because of CBA reasons.
Before being bought out, the 30-year-old defenseman’s contract was regularly critiqued, whether he was in the Canucks lineup or not.
He collected two assists in 36 regular season games in 2013, averaging 15:28 minutes per night (which falls about in line with his average playing time since 2010-11).
Ballard is a Minnesota native, so he must be delighted by this homecoming. As this post indicates, he could serve as a replacement for Tom Gilbert.
Oh yeah, he’s also a noted practitioner of the hip check, which many view as a dying art. Here’s a memorable one from the 2011 playoffs:
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.