Tag Archives: Josh Harding

Harding Starting; Prosser In

The Wild starts a home-and-home matchup with the Detroit Red Wings tonight, followed by a meeting at The Joe on Tuesday.

Josh Harding will get another start tonight, going up against the team he dazzled against two weeks ago in a 38-save masterpiece.

As for the lineup, Nate Prosser will get in after officially getting recalled today. He’ll be paired with Justin Falk, his teammate in Houston last year. In fact, four of the Wild’s six defensemen spent the majority of last season as Aeros.

Brett Bulmer will sit out for the first time tonight, which is interesting. In case you’re unaware, Bulmer can play nine games and still be sent back to his junior team in Kelowna without using up a contract year. Right now, he’s at nine. Does this mean anything? Apparently not. Head Coach Mike Yeo said he wants to get Staubitz into the lineup after sitting out on Thursday. Plus, it can be beneficial to give a newcomer like Bulmer a rest every now and again.

Tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer tonight, which means the boards at the rink tonight will be colored lavender. There may be some pink accents throughout the building as well, including some of the players’ stick tape.

Wild Ends Backup Question; Signs Harding

Ending speculation that the club might re-sign Jose Theodore or explore the backup goaltending market in free agency, the Wild re-signed goaltender Josh Harding to a one-year deal today. After missing all of last season with a torn ACL and MCL, Harding returns for at least one more year as Niklas Backstrom’s expected backup.

Wild.com will have more on the signing of Harding, as well as the re-signings of Drew Bagnall and Jed Ortmeyer. The club is also expected to sign former Vermont Catamount Kyle Medvec to an entry level deal today.

We will also be tracking all the moves in the NHL today, the first day of free agency.

Injury Updates From St. Paul

Good afternoon from St. Paul, where there were some exciting injury updates this morning. As I was working on the game preview for tonight’s Wild game in St. Louis, I got an email from Wild PR guru Ryan Stanzel letting me know goalie Josh Harding would be skating in full gear this morning for the first time since preseason.

After hustling to the rink, I checked in with Hards, who informed me that he got back from the doctor and just had to tape a stick before he’d suit up. As I was watching Harding practice at Xcel Energy Center, I couldn’t help but think of the irony that he is finally back in full gear the same day the Wild face the Blues, the team he injured his knee against in preseason action.

Also making some news on the injury front was defenseman Marco Scandella, who skated for the first time since getting hit in the head by a puck on Jan. 14. While he did not wear full gear, opting for a sweat suit and helmet, it was good to see him out on the ice since he’s been sidelined with concussion symptoms.

You can see video of Scandella going up against Harding (green jersey) this morning on the Wild Facebook Page.

Harding and Scandella were joined on the ice by Marek Zidlicky, Guillaume Latendresse, James Sheppard and Wild Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Pietrzak-Wegner, who manned the net opposite Harding.

As for the Wild net in St. Louis, Jose Theodore will get the start, while Niklas Backstrom will be in goal against the Blues tomorrow in St. Paul. Get all the details of tonight’s game in the preview here.

Of course, tomorrow’s game is the finale of this year’s Hockey Day Minnesota. The annual event will be another day-long celebration of the game we all love. Check out all of the HDM content here.

Finally, congratulations to Jason Sprague of Vadnais Heights for winning the Wild Backyard Rinks Contest, presented by The Home Depot. And speaking of outdoor hockey rinks, the Wild announced today it will hold an outdoor practice for the first time in team history. Fans are welcome to attend the practice at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL in Roseville on Feb. 19. Get those details here.

Harding Skates; Wild Heads East

It was a very low-key morning down at Xcel Energy Center today, but the media assembled got some much needed excitement when Josh Harding walked past and announced he skated earlier today. It was in fact the first time Harding has gotten on skates since his knee surgery a few months ago, and even if he only skated for a bit in sweats, it’s still means he’s nearly a full month ahead of schedule to return from the torn ACL/MCL he suffered in his right knee during the preseason. Harding said he’s never counted himself out for this season and continues to work just to get back in the lineup.

Since he’s back on the ice, Harding now has a stall in the Wild locker room for the first time this regular season:

Harding was all smiles as he talked with the media and said the skate “felt good” but also added that “you’ve got to take it easy, you can’t over push it.” When asked if he’d be returning in a few weeks, he answered, “I’d love to say, ‘Yeah,’ but it obviously just depends on how everything goes and you’ve got to be careful with it…we’re just going to take it week by week.” Harding joked of good friend James Sheppard’s return from injury, saying, “I’m trying to beat him back.”

As for the Wild players not on injured reserve, six players joined Assistant Coaches Rick Wilson and Darby Hendrickson for a optional practice before the Wild flies to New Jersey early this afternoon. Perhaps most noticeably, Marco Scandella was on the ice after missing last night’s game because of an illness. He was joined by Clayton Stoner, Brad Staubitz, Patrick O’Sullivan, Cal Clutterbuck and Jared Spurgeon.

In some other news, Niklas Backstrom declared himself good to go with no lasting effects of the collision with Scandella in practice last week. Backstrom told the media that at this level you have to practice how you play and the collision was “just part of the game.” He added that Scandella’s “a great guy” and he holds no ill will about the collision.

As for the lineups for the Wild’s contests on the East Coast this week, it is still unknown who will start because Todd Richards was not available to talk with the media this morning. But lucky for you, Wild.com brainiac Glen Andresen is traveling with the team on this road trip, so he’ll have all the lineup details for you this week, as well as some cool other features for wild.com.

Until Glen posts his first report from New Joisey, here’s today’s PONDcast from Kevin Falness to get you through the day.

Finally, don’t forget to watch the USA-Canada showdown in the semifinals of the World Junior Championship from Buffalo, N.Y., tonight on NHL Network at 6:30 p.m. CT. Good news for the Yanks: Wild prospect Jason Zucker and Jeremy Morin are both expected back in the U.S. lineup. It might not be a gold-medal matchup, but any game between the Canadians and Americans should be incredibly entertaining, especially during World Juniors. I couldn’t get Brad Bombardir to make an apparel bet again since he ended up having to wear my USA Hockey scarf the day after the U.S. gold last year, and Wild Equipment Manager Tony DaCosta wavered before refusing to commit, too. Looks like we’ve got some Canadians in St. Paul who aren’t too confident in the outcome! GO USA!

Harding Has Torn ACL/MCL

The somber news out of Xcel Energy Center this morning is that Josh Harding tore his ACL/MCL in last night’s collision with Brad Boyes. The injury will require surgery, and there is no timetable for his return, but he’ll likely miss the entire season.

It’s terrible news for Harding, who worked vigorously this summer to rehab from offseason hip surgery. Harding was shocked and devastated by the injury, but is not ready to say he won’t return this season. He said he will work with the trainers to attempt a comeback as soon as possible.

It’s also bad news for the Wild, who expected to have one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL with Harding backing up Nik Backstrom.

How big is the re-signing of Anton Khudobin now? The news of Khudobin’s new contract was completely overshadowed when Mikko Koivu re-signed his long-term extension the same day. Now, Khudobin figures to be the backup, with Matt Hackett and Josh Tordjman sharing duties in Houston.