Skip to content

Wild’s Harding diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

Nov 29, 2012, 10:42 AM EDT

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. ‘Hawks farmhand Skinner signs in Czech league

    Sep 2, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks 2007 Headshots Getty Images

    Veteran AHLer had previously spent time with the Canucks, Avalanche and Islanders organizations.

  2. Red Wings GM preaches patience after slow summer

    Sep 2, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

    Ken Holland AP

    “I think it’s a great time for the Detroit Red Wings.”

  3. PHT Morning Skate: Nerds vs. dinosaurs

    Sep 2, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Dragon Con AP

    Tuesday’s collection of links.

  4. Oilers GM doesn’t anticipate a trade before training camp

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

    Edmonton wants to assess Leon Draisaitl, it seems.

  5. Challenging early schedule looms for Sharks

    Sep 1, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi, Marc-Edouard Vlasic AP

    Sixteen of their first 21 games are on the road.

  6. Workhorse goalies, forwards from last season

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Part two of today’s Labor Day posts.

  7. NHL’s hardest working defensemen in 2013-14

    Sep 1, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Five Getty Images

    Part one of two Labor Day “theme” posts.

  8. Johnston believes Pouliot’s ready for NHL

    Sep 1, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Derrick Pouliot Getty Images

    The new Penguins bench boss previously coached the young defenseman.

  9. Hitchcock: Cole has opportunity to be top-six defenseman

    Sep 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Ian Cole Getty Images

    The 25-year-old has been fighting for playing time since he broke into the NHL.

  10. Yeo to split Wild’s first three preseason games among three goalies

    Sep 1, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom

    He might pick an opening game starter after that, but the battle for the top spot is likely to extend into the season.

  11. Five interesting players still on UFA market

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

    Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

    Will they have contracts by the start of the season?

  12. Boudreau thinks Heatley’s a better fit with Perry/Getzlaf than Penner

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:25 AM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Last season’s experiment ended with Penner being traded.

  13. Trotz will still cheer for Preds ‘like crazy’

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Barry Trotz AP

    He continued to follow their summer moves after he was fired.

  14. Lombardi brings Stanley Cup to Snoopy

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT

    Dean Lombardi AP

    The late creator of Peanuts was a big hockey fan.

  15. Columnist: Schultz deal might complicate Avs’ talks with RFA Barrie

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:26 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie Getty Images

    The Colorado defenseman is still a restricted free agent.

  16. Scioscia wants MLB to adopt NHL-inspired roster expansion rules

    Aug 31, 2014, 7:03 PM EDT

    Mike Scioscia AP

    “I think that would make it a little more equitable for match-ups.”

  17. Hextall: Advanced statistics small, but meaningful part of Kings’ success

    Aug 31, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Ron Hextall Getty Images

    He served as an assistant general manager in Los Angeles before coming to Philadelphia.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (2070)
  2. B. Bishop (2016)
  3. M. Fleury (1828)
  4. J. Schultz (1597)
  5. D. Krejci (1571)
  1. J. Boychuk (1545)
  2. C. Anderson (1493)
  3. E. Staal (1472)
  4. R. Lehner (1371)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1281)