Harding resumes skating, ‘in a much better place right now’


Good sight on the Xcel Energy Center ice today as Wild goalie Josh Harding skated for the first time since January.

“I had heard how much better he was doing and when I got a chance to talk to him this morning, you could see it,” Wild head coach Mike Yeo said, per the Star Tribune. “You could see it in his face, you could see the relief. You could just see he’s in a much better place right now.

“I think it’s great. It’s great to have him around. The next step is getting him on the ice and talk more about what the plan is. We haven’t discussed that.”

Harding hasn’t played since Dec. 31 after undergoing a change in treatment protocol for multiple sclerosis — he practiced briefly in January but left the team soon after because he wasn’t feeling well. All told, Harding has missed the last 22 games and with him and Niklas Backstrom out of action, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher went out and acquired Ilya Bryzgalov from Edmonton at the deadline.

Unofficially, Minnesota has all but ruled out a Harding return this season. The 29-year-old had been the club’s MVP through the first half of the season, posting an 18-7-3 record with a 1.65 GAA and .933 save percentage.

Rookie Darcy Kuemper is now handling the Wild’s starting duties.