SAINT PAUL - Minn. - The Twin Cities chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) has nominated Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding for one of the National Hockey League's (NHL) most prestigious honors.
Harding is up for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Harding, age 28, was placed on Injured Reserved Feb. 12 and missed 33 games with the Wild while battling multiple sclerosis, which was diagnosed last fall. He and doctors battled to find the right balance of medications to allow him to play, while Harding maintained his presence with the Wild.
Within the past several weeks Harding began practicing witht he team and was assigned to the Houston Aeros (AHL) on a conditioning assignment April 16. Harding went 1-1-0, stopping 56-of-61 shots for a 3.00 goals against average and .918 save percentage in two starts with the Aeros last weekend helping Houston clinch a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs.
He has also missed extended periods of previous seasons with major knee and hip injuries, but fought through them and rehabbed from major surgeries to continue his NHL career.
The winner of the Masterton Trophy is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season.
NHL writers first presented the trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, who played for the Minnesota North Stars and exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968 as a result of head injuries suffered during a game.
(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )