With two injured goalies and six healthy defensemen, the Wild called up two players from the Houston Aeros this morning. Goaltender Matt Hackett was called up due to a hip injury to Jose Theodore. Hackett, in his first pro season with the Houston Aeros, is 10-10-1-1 with a 2.55 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.
Fellow Aero Anton Khudobin is expected to make his first NHL start of the season tonight for Minnesota, while Hackett will likely be the backup.
The Wild also recalled defenseman Jared Spurgeon from the Aeros. This will be the third callup for Spurgeon, who was last sent down on Monday. He’s played 15 games for the Wild this season and has not registered a point.
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.