Wild goalie Josh Harding expected to retire
Minnesota Wild's goaltender Josh Harding lets in a goal from Chicago Blackhawks' Marcus Kruger during the second period of Game 5 of their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series in Chicago on May 9, 2013. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)
Josh Harding’s once-promising NHL career appears to be over, derailed by a debilitating illness.
The Minnesota Wild goaltender is expected to retire during the off-season due to complications from multiple sclerosis, less than three years after being diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder. Harding’s contract expires at the end of June.
“I wouldn’t want to speak for him, but he has bigger issues than just hockey,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Harding, 30, played in just two games in 2014-15, both with the Iowa Wild of the AHL.
Harding broke his foot in an off-ice incident during training camp, was suspended by the Wild and, after he healed up, was waived and sent to the minors. He was forced to leave his second game due to dehydration and didn’t play again.
In 151 NHL games, all with the Wild, Harding went 60-59-11 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. In 2013, he also won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Harding was diagnosed with MS in November, 2012. His last NHL game was on Dec. 31, 2013.