Wild netminder Harding nominated for NHL’s Masterton Memorial Trophy
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Wild goalie Josh Harding hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 31 of last year.
But the resilient netminder battling multiple sclerosis is being recognized for his perseverance nonetheless.
The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association’s Twin Cities chapter announced Tuesday night it has nominated Harding for the NHL’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to "the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." Diagnosed with MS in the fall of 2012, Harding’s been on injured reserve since Jan. 2.
He’s also the reigning recipient of the honor and the only player in franchise history to win a voted-on league award.
Before being placed on IR, Harding (18-7-3) was one of the NHL’s hottest goalies. His 1.65 goals-against average and .933 save percentage — accrued across 29 contests — still lead the league.
The NHL named him its third star of the month earlier, after he went 8-2-2 with a 1.88 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and one shutout in 12 outings.
A Regina, Saskatchewan native and Minnesota’s 38th overall pick (second round) in the 2002 entry draft, Harding last year went 1-1-0 with a 3.24 goals-against average, a .863 save percentage and one shutout in five regular-season games last season and 1-4 in five playoff starts.
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