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Wild goalie Kuemper to make NHL debut tonight against Canucks

Feb 12, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT

Darcy Kuemper

The Minnesota Wild are going with the hot goalie tonight in Vancouver.

The hot goalie in the AHL, that is.

Per the StarTribune, Darcy Kuemper is expected to make his NHL debut against the Canucks after being recalled from Houston, where the 22-year-old is 10-6-0 with a .938 save percentage and 1.79 goals-against average this season.

Kuemper was drafted 161st overall by Minnesota in 2009.

The Wild’s regular starter, Niklas Backstrom, played in last night’s 2-1 shootout win in Calgary.

Josh Harding, the other half of the goalie tandem, skated this morning but has been feeling “off” the last few days, according to general manager Chuck Fletcher.

Harding, of course, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year.

“Josh hasn’t been feeling great the last few days and we’ve asked to Josh to be honest with us and let us know when he doesn’t feel that he’s 100 percent,” Fletcher said. “He just feels a little bit off. What he’s going through right now, he’s dealing with some medications. There’s a lot of trial and error. Every situation is different. The doctors advised us of this a few weeks ago that eventually we will get to the right spot where the medication works and his body adapts to it.

“It’s not a one size fits all solution unfortunately. Every case is different, so we’re going to get there. We’re very optimistic about that, but right now, he feels a little off. I give him credit. It’s against a hockey player’s nature to come in and say he doesn’t feel he can do it. He feels down a little bit about it, but we really support him and I give him a lot of credit for coming forward and giving us this information. It’s in his best interest and our team’s best interest to do this.”

  1. sknut - Feb 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Hope Harding is ok, pulling for him. Excited to see what Keumper can do, its nice to have depth at goalie once again, a rarity for this franchise.

    • lordfletcher - Feb 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      I don’t think the Wild have had any issues at goalie depth, the issue has been having too much wealth and shipping them for other assets that haven’t really panned out. Look at all the goalies in the last 7 years that were drafted or discovered by the Wild that were starters elsewhere…. Kuemper to me is the Wild’s second best goalie prospect, Gustafsson is whom I am expecting to take the reins in a couple of years. Hackett should be shopped …. IMO.

      Good luck tonight against the Nucks kid, you’re gonna need it :D

      • ThatGuy - Feb 12, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        Tough to make that call on Gustafsson until he comes over next year. The stats look Gawdy in a vacuum but the SEL is an incredibly low scoring league. Should be an interesting battle over the next 3 or so years for that future starting spot.

  2. kaptaanamerica - Feb 12, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    This could be ugly if the wild play like they Have been. Maybe Suter decides to show up.

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