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With Harding hurt, Wild recall Gustafsson — not Kuemper

Oct 25, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT

JohanGustafsson Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild have made an interesting move in the wake of Josh Harding’s injury.

On Friday, the club announced it had recalled goalie Johan Gustafsson from AHL Iowa, passing over their previously preferred goalie recall of choice, Darcy Kuemper.

Gustafsson, 21, was Minnesota’s sixth-round pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He’s posted a 2-0-0 record with a 1.99 GAA and .935 save percentage with Iowa this season, his first in the AHL after starring with Lulea in the Swedish Elite League last year.

Harding was hurt during Thursday’s 3-1 win over Carolina. Minnesota’s longtime No. 1 goalie, Niklas Backstrom, came on in relief and will likely be re-inserted into his starting position when the Wild take on the ‘Hawks in Chicago this Saturday.

As for Gustafsson, it’s unclear when he’ll get to make his NHL debut, if at all. But the mere fact he’s been recalled says something about the future of Minnesota’s goaltending — Kuemper, who has played very well at the AHL level, looked shaky in a 4-1 loss to Toronto on Oct. 15, allowing three goals on seven shots.

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