Wild’s Harding wins Masterton Trophy

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Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding has captured the 2013 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, beating out Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid.

The Masterton is awarded annually to the player who exemplifies “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”  The Professional Hockey Writers Association will hand out a $2,500 grant to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund in Harding’s name.

Harding, 28, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall but managed to serve as Minnesota’s backup this season, and missed 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.