Darcy Keumper Called Up from Houston to Replace Ailing Wild Goalie Josh Harding
The Minnesota Wild have called up goaltender Darcy Kuemper from Houston, hours before the second game of a back-to-back at Vancouver.
The move is reportedly related to Josh Harding's complications with medication related to his battle with multiple sclerosis.
"Josh hasn't been feeling great the last few days," GM Chuck Fletcher said in a press conference earlier today. "We've asked Josh to be honest with us and let us know when he doesn't feel that he's 100 percent. He just feels a little bit off."
"What he's going through right now is he's dealing with some medications. There's a lot of trial and error. Every situation's different and 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 and it's not a one-size-fits-all solution, unfortunately. Every case is different."
Harding has looked shaky after he shutout the Dallas Stars in his season debut three weeks ago. Five nights later, Hards gave up five goals in a loss at Detroit, then was lifted after allowing two goals less than seven minutes into his next start against Chicago. The Wild beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in OT.
Harding, 28, has appeared in only one other game since, relieving Backstrom for the third period of last Thursday's 4-1 loss to these Canucks.
As noted by aeros.com, Kuemper, a sixth-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, is 10-6-0 with a 1.79 goals-against average (GAA), a .938 SV% and four shutouts in 16 games for the Aeros this season. He ranks second in the AHL in GAA and SV% and tied for fourth in shutouts.
Most Wild fans would expect the more familiar Matt Hackett to have been called up to the club, as he saw time with the Wild last season and is the heir-apparent to current goalie, Niklas Backstrom. Hackett hasn't performed as well as Kuemper has. When asked the question at his presser, Fletcher said that Kuemper has been "the best goalie in the AHL the last month."
Defenseman Marco Scandella was reassigned to play with the Aeros in Houston to make room for the 22-year-old Kuemper.
The Wild have won back-to-back games after dropping three in a row. They look to avenge the uninspiring 4-1 loss Vancouver handed them last week.
The puck drops at 9 p.m. CT Tuesday.
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