Harding mum on alleged wall-kicking incident that led to suspension
On Wednesday, Josh Harding reported to Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa and, as you’d expect, fielded questions about his injured ankle -- which he reportedly hurt by kicking a wall after an altercation with a teammate, an incident that led to his suspension.
But let’s be clear. Harding didn’t field questions so much as he deflected them.
“Right now, I’m not going to look into the past and I’m not going to look too far into the future, either,” Harding said, per the Des Moines Register. “Right now, it’s day to day.”
None of the key parties from the Wild organization -- Harding, head coach Mike Yeo or GM Chuck Fletcher -- have confirmed the wall-kicking story, which was first reported by the Minnesota Star-Tribune:
Harding, arguably the Wild’s No. 1 goaltender heading into Thursday’s training camp, broke his right foot while kicking a wall after an off-ice altercation with a teammate and is expected to miss at least two or three months.
Harding’s injury won’t require surgery, but he is out indefinitely. Yeo and an equally frustrated General Manager Chuck Fletcher were to meet with Harding on Wednesday to try to ascertain how he got hurt. Details are murky, but it’s clear he got into some kind of altercation with a teammate Sunday.
“We just have to figure out what happened,” Fletcher said Wednesday morning. “But I’m not sure I want to get into a whole public exposé of what happened.”
Harding was waived earlier this week and cleared, then accepted his AHL assignment. The plan now is for him to get back into game shape -- due to complications from multiple sclerosis, he hasn’t played since Dec. ’13 -- and potentially return to the Wild should things go south with either Darcy Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom.
For now, though, Harding is trying to put alleged wall-kicking incident behind him.
“It’s something that I’ve dealt with,” he said.