Article Photos: Wild shore up defense by signing Ballard, Spurgeon 1/1

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2013, file photo, Nashville Predators right wing Brandon Yip (18) prepares to hit Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard (4) during an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. The Minnesota Wild have used their limited space under the salary cap to sign Ballard and re-sign defenseman Jared Spurgeon. The contracts were completed Friday, July 5, 2013. Ballard was let go by Vancouver earlier this week. He said he had interest from a half-dozen other teams but picked a two-year deal with the Wild because he believed he best fit with them on the ice. As a bonus, he's a native of Minnesota. (AP Photo/Mike Strasinger, File)