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. Video: Canucks honor Quinn with “O Danny Boy”

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:29 PM EST

    patquinn

    Spent time in Vancouver as a player and a coach.

  2. Video: Canucks’ Desjardins delivers the news to Horvat

    Nov 25, 2014, 8:00 PM EST

    Bo Horvat, Jason Demers, Pascal Pelletier AP

    The 19-year-old rookie will be sticking in the NHL this season.

  3. Video: Boll with a hit to the head on Postma

    Nov 25, 2014, 7:45 PM EST

    EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 14: Jared Boll #40 of the Columbus Blue Jackets watches warm-up before a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rexall Place on March 14, 2012 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

    Chris Thorburn dropped the gloves with the Jackets tough guy.

  4. Report: Kings receiving interest in Nolan

    Nov 25, 2014, 7:15 PM EST

    Jordan Nolan AP

    He’s been a healthy scratch in three straight games.

  5. Torres aims to resume skating soon — without his right ACL

    Nov 25, 2014, 5:48 PM EST

    Raffi Torres Getty Images

    Sharks forward has undergone months of rehab on his surgically-repaired knee.

  6. The Kings aren’t just ‘going to go out and blow’ their Voynov cap space

    Nov 25, 2014, 5:04 PM EST

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    “Let’s get real. Finding top-four defensemen, they’re not available,” says GM Dean Lombardi.

  7. Trade: Canucks, Isles flip prospects

    Nov 25, 2014, 4:27 PM EST

    New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Alex Mallet for Andrey Pedan, specifically.

  8. McDavid thinks dropping the gloves ‘was the right thing to do’

    Nov 25, 2014, 3:31 PM EST

    Erie Otters v Niagara IceDogs Getty Images

    “I would rather fight than turtle or anything like that.”

  9. Canucks keeping rookie Horvat — ‘Everything he got he earned’

    Nov 25, 2014, 2:25 PM EST

    Frederik Andersen, Bo Horvat AP

    Cory Schneider to “see what kind of player he is” tonight.

  10. On the odds of fighting back after Thanksgiving

    Nov 25, 2014, 2:01 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins  v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three Getty Images

    The Blue Jackets, Flyers, Avalanche, Stars, and Sharks all made the playoffs last season. But they’re not in position now.

  11. Welcome to the trade rumor mill, Florida Panthers veterans

    Nov 25, 2014, 1:47 PM EST

    2014 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 Getty Images

    GM Dale Tallon reportedly wants to make room for some youngsters.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (2743)
  2. V. Hedman (2698)
  3. P. Sharp (2567)
  4. S. Crosby (2357)
  5. B. Marchand (2162)
  1. Z. Chara (2029)
  2. D. Krejci (1986)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1895)
  4. S. Varlamov (1676)
  5. P. Dupuis (1581)