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  1. #1
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    Wild Re-Signs Harding

    Wild Re-Signs Harding

    Minnesota re-signs goaltender Josh Harding to a multi-year extension

    Josh Harding has spent his entire NHL career with the Minnesota Wild, and will spend a few more seasons in the State of Hockey.

    The Wild has re-signed the 28-year-old goaltender to a three-year contract.

    “I love being here, I love the city, I love the fans,” Harding said. “It was really important for me to stay here and work towards my goal (of being a starting goaltender in the NHL).”

    Harding would’ve become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, had he chosen to test the free agent market. However, signing before the July 1 deadline shows his commitment to the club that drafted him in the second round (38th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Harding said he believes the Wild is on the right track and is excited to be a part of an organization on the rise.

    “I like the way the organization is heading and I want to be a part of it,” Harding said. “We’re maturing, we’re still young and have a lot of talent. I’m ready to get back at it.”

    Harding missed the entire 2010-11 season with a devastating knee injury. However, the netminder spent a full year rehabbing and was signed to a one-year contract with Minnesota last summer. He came back strong, posting 13 wins, .917 goals against average and a 2.62 save percentage. He was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week ending Nov. 7.

    “Last year was a big stepping stone, but it’s just a start,” Harding said. “I know I have a lot more to give.”

    Re-signing Harding gives Minnesota two proven NHL-caliber goaltenders returning next season. Harding and Niklas Backstrom helped backstop the Wild to the best record in the NHL before a multitude of injuries sidetracked the team. However, Harding believes the club became stronger because of the adversity.

    “We went through the downfall last year,” Harding said about the Wild’s midseason struggles. “You have to learn from your mistakes, we’ve been there before and know what to change.”

    Eventually, the Regina, Saskatchewan native would like to be a starting goaltender in the NHL. He believes the three-year deal gives him an opportunity to do so in Minnesota.

    “Ever since I was drafted I’ve wanted to be the number one goalie for the Minnesota Wild,” Harding said. “Obviously that’s not going to be given to me.

    “Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to take over.”

  2. #2
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    They also signed goalie prospect Johan Gustaffson to a 3 year entry-level deal in May.

  3. #3
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    Can never hurt to have depth at the most important position in hockey.

  4. #4
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    This is probably the position we are stronger then most, if not all, NHL teams in. This signing was a steal. With Backstrom and Harding at the pro level, and Hackett, Kuemper, Gustaffson as legitimate goalie prospects that anyone would be happy for were sitting pretty strong here.

  5. #5
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    Right now my goalie knowledge (as to who are the best ones) extends to Quick, Lundqvist, and Rinne. Looks like I have a lot to learn.

  6. #6
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    Backstrom is top 10 in the league give or take. Harding would be a solid starter on any team and to be a back up thats great. Also Harding is a different hand then Back (lefty and righty) so if we ever have back to backs its fun switching them and seeing if it messes with the shooters. Hackett appeared in what I believe was 9 games last season and was lights out dominant, but still needs plenty of time to develop.

  7. #7
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    Eh I'd say backstrom is more like 13-15 but I agree with the rest pidg

  8. #8
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    Ehh, I wouldn't say they are stronger than most at goalie. However, it is good to have depth. Locking up your goalies is just as important as locking up a solid QB in football. You'd much rather know who you're sending out there, than have a "goalie by committee" like the Islanders did this year.
    Last edited by SportsNY; 06-21-2012 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #9
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    Yeah I could agree Backstrom is maybe a little lower then 10 he is a bit streaky. But when he is on he is a top 10 easily. And as per having the best in the league I cant think of another team, except maybe Vancouver with Luongo, Schneider and Lack who have a good 1,2 punch and at least 1 solid prospect. I mean we have 3 prospects that project to be NHL players, some teams have none and would be happy to just have one.

  10. #10
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    I feel like Nashville did with Lindback as I feel he will be a good starter but for depth purposes it's nice as to one of them will likely be an above average goaltender

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