wild's goalie shuffle
Josh Harding led the NHL in goals-against average (1.65) and saves percentage (.933), but he played in only 29 games before missing the second half of the season because of symptoms related to multiple sclerosis. Harding feels well enough to practice but did not travel.
Niklas Backstrom signed a three-year contract to be the team's No. 1 goalie. He played in 21 games (3.02, .899), struggled with abdominal issues, and had core muscle surgery in late March.
Darcy Kuemper came up from Iowa of the AHL to take over as the No. 1 in January. He played well for two months but lost his final five starts in March. Kuemper suffered an upper-body injury in practice late in the season but has returned and could play.
Ilya Bryzgalov was acquired at the trade deadline from Edmonton to back up Kuemper down the stretch. Bryzgalov worked into the lineup when Kuemper faltered, then took over when Kuemper was injured.
John Curry was signed during the peak of the Wild goalie injuries and won his only start, last week. He could be Bryzgalov's backup Thursday night if Kuemper isn't ready.