Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Josh Harding back on the ice for Wild

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wild news, Wild practice Updated: March 28, 2013 - 3:10 PM

 Rarely has anybody been as excited about taking part in an optional practice as Josh Harding was today.

Harding got to Xcel Energy Center early. Warmed up. Waited.  Then, in pads, he took the ice with four teammates in a very informal setting and took some shots.

“It was an exciting day,” Harding said.

Another step.

It was discovered last fall that Harding had multiple sclerosis. It was hoped that it could be contained with proper treatment. But, after his body didn’t react well to his medication, he was put on injured reserve Feb. 12 . That began a weeks-long process of trying to find the right treatment combination. A process that was, for Harding, at times very difficult.

“The slope I was taking, I could feel it,” Harding said. “I think everybody around me was noticing, too. It was going downhill, and a couple days you wonder if you’re going to get better. The scariest thing was when I tried some things that were supposed to help me and they didn’t. And that was when it kind of started getting to me, that this might be serious. And you think about hockey, you think about how your life is going to change. That’s why it’s exciting for myself to feel better this last week and a half.”

Harding is confident in his new treatment regimen. He has been working out hard for a week and a half. He had skated twice before Thursday, but hadn’t taken any shots. That’s why being in net and taking shots was so important.

There is no timetable for his return. That won’t be determined until Harding, the doctors, coach Mike Yeo and general manager Chuck Fletcher all get together and talk about the situation.

But Harding said he feels good.

“I think we kinda got it under wraps here,” he said. “This was a big step for me. Hopefully it just keeps going the right way.”

 

Here are a couple other notes from today:

 

--Yeo wouldn’t say whether he plans on having goalie Niklas Backstrom stay in the Twin Cities while the rest of the team goes to Dallas. We will know more later this afternoon, as a move would have to be made if Backstrom stays behind to get some rest. “I haven’t considered it yet,” Yeo said. “Or, maybe I have.”

But Mike Russo is pretty certain Backstrom won't be on the trip, which would mean Matt Hackett would need to get called up later this afternoon. If that is the case, the question is, who will start, Hackett or Darcy Kuemper?  Hackett struggled with Houston on Tuesday. Backstrom, who has had a heavy workload of late, would then be rested for Saturday's home game against Los Angeles. 

 

--Yeo wasn’t about to talk about any potential lineup changes. And that includes whether the recent play of defensemen Tom Gilbert and Justin Falk. Brett Clark and Nate Prosser were two of the three skaters at Thursday’s optional skate – Mike Rupp was the other. Might it be time for Clark to make his Wild debut?

 

--Here is Yeo on the trade of Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh:  “There is a reason why good players want to go play there,” Yeo said. “They’ve created a winning culture there, and players want the chance to win.’’

But won’t it be strange to play Calgary without seeing Iginla in a Flames uniform? “It will be good, that’s for sure,” Yeo said.

 

That’s about all for now. Russo will be back in the saddle tomorrow.

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland 1 Top 10th Inning
Kansas City 1
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado 2 Bottom 9th Inning
Arizona 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Top 8th Inning
St. Louis 4
Los Angeles 1 Top 7th Inning
San Diego 1
Milwaukee 0 Top 6th Inning
San Francisco 3
Oakland 0 Bottom 4th Inning
LA Angels 0
Washington 3 Bottom 5th Inning
Seattle 0
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 4th Qtr 6:14
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 4th Qtr 4:22
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 24 4th Qtr 9:45
New Mexico 21
North Texas 0 4th Qtr 12:16
Texas 28
(1) Florida State 20 3rd Qtr 5:49
Oklahoma State 17
(14) Wisconsin 17 2nd Qtr 4:32
(13) LSU 7
Idaho 0 Delayed 14:50
Florida 0
South Dakota 0 1st Qtr 14:50
(3) Oregon 0
(25) Washington 0 1st Qtr 14:30
Hawaii 0
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT