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. Bordeleau (back) out about three months, others Avs limp into camp

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Jamie McGinn and John Mitchell also rank among the already-wounded.

  2. Bruins GM on Krug, Smith: ‘They’re not going anywhere’

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT

    Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron, Justin Florek, Reilly Smith, Kevan Miller AP

    Peter Chiarelli also (kinda sorta) addressed Johnny Boychuk rumors.

  3. Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT

    Josh Harding AP

    He won’t be paid or count against the cap while he’s injured.

  4. Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Seven Getty Images

    Maybe the English version of his book will be kinder?

  5. Columbus reacts to Horton (back) being out indefinitely

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    At least the Blue Jackets’ GM is ruling out surgery.

  6. Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    He’ll miss at least months, GM Ron Hextall said.

  7. Jagr: ‘I want to play until 50′

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

    Jaromir Jagr, Travis Zajac AP

    Hey, he’s got less than eight years to go.

  8. Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks

    Sep 18, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT

    Willie Desjardins AP

    “I don’t think I had a conversation with Torts until Christmas last year.”

  9. Silent Blue: Armstrong will no longer comment on Schwartz

    Sep 18, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Doug Armstrong AP

    “The next time I’ll talk publicly about Jaden is when we sign him.”

  10. Rangers to name new captain at end of camp

    Sep 18, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    McDonagh

    And it’s probably going to be Ryan McDonagh.

  11. Eakin, Dillon still without contracts in Dallas

    Sep 18, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

    Cody Eakin, Corey Perry AP

    Two key youngsters on a Stars team with high hopes.

  12. Veteran d-man Lee going to Preds camp on PTO

    Sep 18, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT

    Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Former first-round pick missed extensive time to a torn ACL.

  13. Ex-1st rounder Barker goes full circle, will attend ‘Hawks camp

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT

    Cam Barker AP

    Remember him? Taken 3rd overall in 2004… behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.

  14. Wings lose young sniper Mantha (6-8 weeks) to broken tibia

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

    AnthonyMantha

    Tough blow for a kid looking to make the leap this season.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Johansen (2229)
  2. J. Harding (1801)
  3. D. Alfredsson (1530)
  4. J. Quick (1334)
  5. S. Crosby (1302)
  1. S. Bennett (1253)
  2. D. Kuemper (1187)
  3. A. Ovechkin (1086)
  4. B. Schenn (1072)
  5. J. Tootoo (1034)