Josh Harding appears to have been robbed yet again.
Harding has already missed the 2010-11 season, where his attempt to win a share of the starting goaltender role for the Wild was thwarted by his suffering an ACL tear in the pre-season.
After his diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, he was limited to only 5 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Harding had signed a 3-year deal with the Wild that paved the way for him to finally take over the net for the team that had drafted him 10 years prior.
And then, last season, when Harding broke out and showed that he could have been exactly the kind of player the Wild hoped he could be, complications from his condition stole the entire second half of last season from it.
Not that your heart hasn't gone out to him before now, but you had to really feel for Harding when you heard that he may be out long-term with an ankle injury. Since Harding is in the last year of his contract, it's quite possible that his illness dictates that this will be his last season. And now, the possibility is real that even if he won't miss it entirely, it's going to be severely hampered by this news.
No one wants to see Harding's career end like this. We're hoping for a best-case scenario.
As inappropriate as it may feel to talk about hockey when we're talking about a man's career potentially ending, we still must proceed to the Walk.
Wild goalie Harding, eager to prove himself, is injured | Star Tribune- Again, terrible news for Harding. The Wild reportedly have put out a call to Ilya Bryzgalov, though there is also talk about Martin Brodeur or Tomas Vokoun possibly being brought in for a tryout.
Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury | ProHockeyTalk- You've got to think that the Wild are going to feel more urgency to give Kuemper a deal. They may have to do the one-way contract they've been reticent to hand out to him.
The Team of 18,001: Five Questions Going Into Training Camp- There are some things Giles wants to find out from training camp.
Minnesota Wild: Projections for 2014-15; Defence and Goalies- More projections to follow-up after last week.
Also, make sure to listen to the newest episode of the Hockey Wilderness Podcast! We recorded on Sunday, before the Harding news arrived, but we brought on Bob Spencer to talk about Nino signing, what to expect from Erik Haula, the Power Play, the Captaincy, Hats, and more. You can listen to it here or download it from iTunes and put it on your Zune or whatever.
Tending the Fields
5 Things We Learned from the Prospect Tournament- Derek tells us a few things about Traverse City, most notable that he could see Kurtis Gabriel overtaking Brett Bulmer. Noooooooo!
Off the Trail
Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands | ProHockeyTalk- Davidson, Columbus' President, calls Johansen's negotiation tactics "extortion". Radiohead reacts.
Unique Team Traits: New Jersey Devils- Justin Bourne looks at how the New Jersey Devils are aggressive in the neutral zone.
Danny DeKeyser finds free-agent solution, signs 2-year deal with Detroit | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Another RFA signs a contract.
Blues bringing BizNasty to camp | ProHockeyTalk- Good tryout for the Blues, as they lacked toughness last season.
Lester Patrick winner Bill Daly: Number of NHL U.S. cities 'should continue to grow' | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- More expansion talk.
Puck Daddy’s NHL 2014-15 Emoji Preview: Montreal Canadiens | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Forsberg named rookie tourney MVP, Ekblad all-tournament | ProHockeyTalk- #StillWantedPasta