Josh Harding

Harding had to spend a night in hospital with dehydration


From the Star Tribune, which reports that Wild goalie Josh Harding left Saturday’s game with AHL Iowa after two periods due to a serious case of dehydration:

It was so serious, he was taken to the hospital and remained hospitalized until he was released late Sunday. Multiple sources say this is related to his multiple sclerosis. Harding is listed day-to-day with dehydration, but this will likely be one of those indefinite day-to-day’s. It’s very unlikely he will play another game for Iowa until this is figured out.

Iowa has recalled Johan Gustafsson from ECHL Alaska to back up John Curry tonight in Charlotte and the Wild was making arrangements on getting Harding back to Minnesota.

Harding cleared waivers and was assigned to Iowa last month. The 30-year-old has not played an NHL game this season, after reportedly kicking a wall and suffering an injury in September.

He is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Related: Harding’s season debut is a 50-save loss in AHL

After multiple surgeries, Wild’s Backstrom challenges for old job


Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom hasn’t been on the sidelines yet this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s 100 percent. He underwent core muscle surgery in March and sports hernia surgery in May 2013, which has significantly hindered his career. Even now, he’s still is involved in a daily rehabilitation process that will likely continue until at least the end of the 2014-15 campaign, but at the same time he’s made a lot of progress since the start of training camp.

“It’s a lot of work,” Backstrom told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “But when you miss a lot of hockey, you realize how much you love it and how much you miss just being with the guys. So if it’s going to give me a chance to be here, I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”

Before the 36-year-old goaltender ran into injury problems, he had a firm hold on the Minnesota Wild’s starting gig. However, he was outplayed by Josh Harding early last season and Darcy Kuemper got off to a similarly hot start in 2014-15 to once again marginalize Backstrom. Kuemper hasn’t been as effective lately though and Backstrom has a 1.97 GAA and .917 save percentage in nine contests. The stage seems to be set for Backstrom to make a serious challenge for his old job.

“He looks really good right now,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “We haven’t determined our starting goalie (for Tuesday), but the way he’s played lately gives him a very good chance to get in the net.”

Minnesota will be looking to end its four-game homestand on a high note when they face the New York Islanders Tuesday night.

Harding’s season debut is a 50-save loss in AHL


If everything had gone according to the Minnesota Wild’s original plan, Josh Harding would have likely started in their season opener against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 9. Instead he broke his right foot while reportedly kicking a wall. He was suspended by Minnesota for his non-hockey injury.

With Darcy Kuemper off to a strong start and Niklas Backstrom ineligible to be sent to the minors due to his no-movement clause, Minnesota waived Harding on Nov. 18. So instead of facing the Avalanche in October, Harding made his season debut Sunday against the AHL San Antonio Rampage.

The Rampage seemed determined to help Harding make up for lost time by giving him as much work as possible. Harding faced 54 shots and another three in a shootout as the Rampage went on to secure a 5-4 victory.

In addition to it being his first start of the season, it was also Harding’s first professional contest since Dec. 31, 2013. His 2013-14 campaign was cut short due to complications with his treatment for multiple sclerosis.


Harding mum on alleged wall-kicking incident that led to suspension

Harding mum on alleged wall-kicking incident that led to suspension


On Wednesday, Josh Harding reported to Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa and, as you’d expect, fielded questions about his injured ankle — which he reportedly hurt by kicking a wall after an altercation with a teammate, an incident that led to his suspension.

But let’s be clear. Harding didn’t field questions so much as he deflected them.

“Right now, I’m not going to look into the past and I’m not going to look too far into the future, either,” Harding said, per the Des Moines Register. “Right now, it’s day to day.”

None of the key parties from the Wild organization — Harding, head coach Mike Yeo or GM Chuck Fletcher — have confirmed the wall-kicking story, which was first reported by the Minnesota Star-Tribune:

Harding, arguably the Wild’s No. 1 goaltender heading into Thursday’s training camp, broke his right foot while kicking a wall after an off-ice altercation with a teammate and is expected to miss at least two or three months.

Harding’s injury won’t require surgery, but he is out indefinitely. Yeo and an equally frustrated General Manager Chuck Fletcher were to meet with Harding on Wednesday to try to ascertain how he got hurt. Details are murky, but it’s clear he got into some kind of altercation with a teammate Sunday.

“We just have to figure out what happened,” Fletcher said Wednesday morning. “But I’m not sure I want to get into a whole public exposé of what happened.”

Harding was waived earlier this week and cleared, then accepted his AHL assignment. The plan now is for him to get back into game shape — due to complications from multiple sclerosis, he hasn’t played since Dec. ’13 — and potentially return to the Wild should things go south with either Darcy Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom.

For now, though, Harding is trying to put alleged wall-kicking incident behind him.

“It’s something that I’ve dealt with,” he said.

Harding clears waivers, will report to Wild’s AHL affiliate


No takers for Josh Harding has resulted in a trip to Iowa.

On Tuesday, the Wild assigned Harding to their AHL affiliate and, per the Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo, the veteran goalie will accept said assignment.


Harding is owed $1.65 million the rest of the season (prorated from $2.1 million). When Harding is in Iowa, the Wild will have to pay his NHL salary there but will be charged a cap hit of $760,000 (not his $1.9 million cap hit) or roughly $5,200 per day.

This is not necessarily the end of the line for Harding. If and when the Wild needs him or his game his ready, he can be recalled. But Darcy Kuemper can’t be sent to the minors without waivers anymore and Niklas Backstrom can’t be sent to the minors because of a no-move clause.

Fletcher said Monday, “We didn’t have interest in carrying three goalies on a 23-man roster, particularly with the mumps or whatever the heck it is ripping through us. We’ve had two situations now with [Christian] Folin and [Marco] Scandella where they haven’t had to go on IR, so roster flexibility played a part in this.”

Harding, who hasn’t played since Dec. ’13 due to complications with treatment for multiple sclerosis, could be back in action soon — Iowa next plays on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.