Wild bring back goalie Josh Harding on 1-year deal
The Minnesota Wild re-signed backup goaltender Josh Harding to a
one-year, $750,000 contract Friday.
The team made the announcement on the first day of NHL free
agency, putting a dependable goalie behind Niklas Backstrom. The
27-year-old Harding missed all of last season with torn ligaments
in his right knee, leaving his future with the team in doubt.
Veteran netminder Jose Theodore was brought in and played well,
but Theodore’s desire to compete for a full-time starting job made
the decision easier to retain Harding. Theodore signed a two-year
deal with the Florida Panthers on Friday.
Harding went 9-12 with a 3.05 goals-against average during the
2009-10 season. He has started 65 games for the Wild in five
seasons. He was a second-round pick of the Wild in 2002 and has
spent his entire NHL career with Minnesota, going 28-39-4 with a
2.66 goals-against average.
Another one of the Wild’s unrestricted free agents, left wing
Andrew Brunette, signed a one-year contract with the Chicago
Blackhawks. Forwards Chuck Kobasew, John Madden and Antti Miettinen
are the other notable Wild veterans who became unrestricted free
agents. None is expected to be re-signed by the Wild.
Also Friday, the Wild cut ties with defenseman Cam Barker after
he cleared waivers, and he signed a two-year deal with the Edmonton
Oilers. The Wild traded their 2009 first-round draft pick,
defenseman Nick Leddy, and defenseman Kim Johnsson to the
Blackhawks for Barker in February 2010.
Later Friday, the Wild signed Drew Bagnall and Jed Ortmeyer, to
two-year, two-way contracts, and Kyle Medvec, to a two-year,
Bagnall, a defenseman, and Ortmeyer, a right wing, helped lead
the Wild’s affiliate, the Houston Aeros, to the American Hockey
Medvec, a Twin Cities area native of starred at Apple Valley
High School, was a fourth-round draft pick by the Wild in 2006. The
defenseman just completed a four-year college career at