Skip to content

Wild’s Harding diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

Nov 29, 2012, 10:42 AM EST

Josh Harding AP

On Wednesday, Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding announced he’d been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Harding, 28, received the news over a month ago but only recently shared the information with people outside his immediate family, including Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and head coach Mike Yeo.

Here’s more, from the Minnesota Star Tribune’s Mike Russo:

[Multiple sclerosis is] an incurable autoimmune disease in which the body randomly attacks and eats away the protective lining of his nerves and causes them to scar. It causes problems with balance, fatigue and blurred vision. There are 25,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States every year.

“I had a couple days where I felt bad for myself, but no more,” said Harding, who plans on continuing his career. “There’s things in life that happen. Sometimes you can’t explain it. You deal with it.”

Harding first learned he might have MS on Sept. 27, when Wild team doctor Dan Peterson noticed an abnormality on Harding’s MRI.

That led to a series of tests and meetings with Dr. Jonathan Calkwood of the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology — dubbed the “MS guru” by Peterson — who confirmed the diagnosis and started Harding on an series of medications.

The Saskatchewan native, who signed a three-year, $5.7 million deal with the Wild in June, was off-ice for 1.5 months dealing with the initial stages of MS, but was cleared to skate two weeks ago.

Harding says he plans to continue his career.

“I know what my overall goal is to be, and that’s a No. 1 goalie of the Minnesota Wild and to win a Stanley Cup here,” he said. “It would make me happy to overcome this. Not just overcome this, but to really succeed with it.”

Update

Fletcher has issued a statement on the Wild website:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh and his family following the news that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“Josh’s competitive fire has led him to a successful career in the NHL and we know he will approach this new battle in the same manner.”

It should be noted Harding’s situation mirrors that of former Bruins draftee Jordan Sigalet.

Sigalet was diagnosed with MS while playing for Bowling Green in 2004, but went on to a stellar career with the Falcons and subsequently played for Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence for three seasons.

He appeared in one contest for the Bruins in 2005-06 — a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning — and now serves as the goaltending coach for Calgary’s AHL affiliate in Abbotsford.

Latest Posts
  1. Hurricanes sign McClement to two-year, $2.4M extension

    Mar 1, 2015, 10:17 AM EST

    Carolina Hurricanes v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Three of his season’s six goals came in the last three games.

  2. Report: Bruins balked at asking price for Vermette

    Mar 1, 2015, 9:35 AM EST

    Detroit Red Wings v Arizona Coyotes Getty Images

    The first-round pick was a little too rich, it seems.

  3. Sharks slip late in potential microcosm of season

    Mar 1, 2015, 1:03 AM EST

    Ottawa Senators v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    San Jose completed its disastrous month with a loss to Ottawa.

  4. Sakic hopes to re-sign O’Reilly over the summer

    Mar 1, 2015, 12:42 AM EST

    Ryan O'Reilly Getty Images

    In other words, he’s probably not going to be dealt before the trade deadline.

  5. Flyers keep faint playoff hopes alive with win over Rangers

    Feb 28, 2015, 11:11 PM EST

    Steve Mason Getty Images

    Steve Mason was solid in his first start since undergoing knee surgery.

  6. Price shuts out Leafs to match Canadiens record

    Feb 28, 2015, 10:41 PM EST

    Carey Price AP

    He’s continuing to make his case for the art Trophy.

  7. Video: Hard-fought Flyers lead neutralized in just 24 seconds

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:24 PM EST

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Stakes are high for Philadelphia after Boston and Florida won.

  8. Jagr earns high praise in his Panthers debut

    Feb 28, 2015, 8:50 PM EST

    Jaromir Jagr AP

    His leadership and the confidence that he brings might provide Florida with a big boost.

  9. Bruins maintain four-point edge in playoff race, hand Coyotes ninth straight loss

    Feb 28, 2015, 8:24 PM EST

    Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic AP

    Arizona is threatening to drop to 29th in the NHL, which would be big as far as the draft lottery is concerned.

  10. WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Flyers (8:00 p.m. ET)

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:51 PM EST

    Wayne Simmonds, Ryan McDonagh AP

    Philadelphia is trying to salvage its bid for a playoff spot.

  11. Sabres’ Chris Stewart is eager to play postseason hockey

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:37 PM EST

    Chris Stewart Getty Images

    A recent report suggests that Boston is interested.

  12. Red Wings beat NHL-leading Preds to end successful Western road trip

    Feb 28, 2015, 6:02 PM EST

    Alexei Marchenko, Justin Abdelkader AP

    Alexey Marchenko scored his first career goal.

  13. Five on waivers as trade deadline looms

    Feb 28, 2015, 5:34 PM EST

    Rob Zepp Getty Images

    That gives some teams extra roster flexibility.

  14. Agent: Blackhawks have ‘no intention’ of trading Sharp

    Feb 28, 2015, 4:15 PM EST

    Patrick Sharp Patrick Sharp

    He’s been the subject of trade rumors lately.

  15. Goalie Nods: Mason returns for the Flyers

    Feb 28, 2015, 3:35 PM EST

    Steve Mason AP

    News and notes from around the blue paint…

Featured video

Trade deadline storylines to watch
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. F. Andersen (3293)
  2. H. Zetterberg (3039)
  3. T. Seguin (2883)
  4. B. Wheeler (2714)
  5. R. Miller (2700)
  1. H. Lundqvist (2611)
  2. M. Giordano (2301)
  3. T. Hall (2290)
  4. K. Okposo (2278)
  5. N. Horton (2173)