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Harding re-signs in Minny for three years

Jun 19, 2012, 1:49 PM EDT

Minnesota Wild v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild has re-signed goalie Josh Harding to a three-year contract, the club announced today.

“I love being here, I love the city, I love the fans,” Harding said. “It was really important for me to stay here and work towards my goal (of being a starting goaltender in the NHL).”

Harding was a pending unrestricted free agent, and many believed he would be targeted by the likes of Toronto and Columbus on July 1.

The 28-year-old went 13-12-4 in 2011-12 with a .917 save percentage.

The deal leaves the Wild with two NHL-caliber goalies, Harding and 34-year-old Niklas Backstrom. The latter has one year remaining on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent, and you have to wonder what he thinks about all this.

Harding’s cap hit is reportedly $1.9 million.

In a related story, Roberto Luongo still hasn’t been traded.

  1. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 19, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Great move by Minnesota. In 2013-14 and 2014-15 season when he is the starter, 1.9 million is going to be a bargain.

    Kudos Fletch.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      great bargain!!!!!

      I was fine with however this played out, we sign him for 3 years or he walks in two weeks. I figured he would have signed a deal for 3/$3, not $1.9. I am curious to see what they do with their goalie prospects now. You can’t have both in Houston again can you? Luckily Gustafsson can stay in Sweden for a while.

      Harding fleeced ????! LOL

      Well Burke, there goes another one. He better act fast! (I am a Burke fan so don’t hate)

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        I’d assume Hackett and Keumper play in Houston; while Gustafsson hangs out in Sweden this year. Next year Harding is the number 1, while Hackett or Keumper is the back up and the other is the starter in Houston. Signing Harding does make one of the other goaltenders a trade chip sometime soon. Maybe this weekend?

  2. sknut - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Very solid move, wasn’t really expecting this but it sounds like Harding knew the market wasn’t quite there and why not stay here with Back’s deal up after next year and his health issues. Nice start to the off-season for Fletcher and co.

  3. lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Atta boy Fletch! Now all you have to do is trade him midseason once you’ve identified your weak spots (either d or 3rd/4th liners), and bring Hack up from Houston. Wild for Lord Stanley’s in 2013! Woo!

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