Minnesota Wild v Anaheim Ducks

Wild’s Harding launches multiple sclerosis charity


Minnesota goalie Josh Harding — who won the 2013 Masterton Trophy after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year — has established a public charity aimed at changing perceptions of MS.

“There is a poor perception of people diagnosed with MS. People immediately think wheelchair and death,” he said in announcing the launch of Harding’s Hope. “I want to be a role model for others diagnosed with MS by showing that this will not come between me and my goals.”

Here’s more, from the release:

Harding initially struggled to find important and necessary information about the disease, while he was exposed to some of the negative perceptions surrounding something that affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide.

A lack of education and understanding are something that Josh hopes he is able to help change through work with his new organization.

In the United States, Harding’s Hope will work with existing agencies to help support people faced with the expensive treatment costs.

In Canada, the charity will support organizations that provide community services to people living with MS.

Harding, 29, learned of his MS diagnosis last fall but managed to serve as Minnesota’s backup this season, though he did miss extensive time with a MS-related setback in February.

Undeterred, Harding returned to action and became the team’s starter for all five games of its opening-round playoff loss to Chicago.

Filling in for the injured Niklas Backstrom, Harding posted a .911 save percentage and 2.94 GAA in the playoffs, which included a stellar 43-save effort in Game 2 — paving the way to winning the Masterton, awarded annually to the player who exemplifies “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?