Josh Harding is expected to retire, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports.
Harding, 30, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012 but returned as one of the best goalies in the NHL for the first half of the 2013-14 season. Pro Hockey Talk notes that Harding was in the running for the Vezina Trophy (best goalie in the league) before complications with his MS put an end to his season.
He came back this past season with hopes of competing as the Wild's No. 1 goalie but he broke his foot in an off-ice incident during training camp and was suspended by the team and ultimately waived. He cleared waivers and reported to the Des Moines Wild in the American Hockey League. But just two starts into his comeback he was forced to leave a game with dehydration – and he didn't play again.
“I wouldn’t want to speak for him, but he has bigger issues than just hockey,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said, according to Russo.
Backstrom might be done in Minnesota
Russo points out that the Wild probably doesn't want to carry three goalies on the roster next season, meaning Backstrom might be the odd man out.
He still has one year left on his contract, but considering Minnesota wants to resign Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper can't be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers, there's a good chance the final year of the 37 year old's contract will be bought out, Russo says.