|Photo: John Autey/Pioneer Press|
Harding went on to win the Trophy last year, as he overcame his battle with multiple sclerosis to play in five regular season games and five postseason games.
This year, Harding posted an 18-7-3 record with a league leading 1.65 goals against average and .933 save percentage in 29 games played. He has not played since late December after having an adjustment to his treatment, which kept him off the ice until the last week when he began practicing with the Wild again.
There has never been a repeat winner of the Masterton Trophy, but Harding looks to become the first to do so. Other notable candidates for the award include Stars F Rich Peverley (heart condition), Penguins D Kris Letang (stroke), Kings and former Wild D Willie Mitchell (missed all of last season), Senators D Erik Karlsson (severed Achilles), and Devils F Jaromir Jagr (continues to play at a high level at the age of 42).
Harding joins Wes Walz (2000-01, 2005-06) as the only Wild player to be nominated for the award twice.
Obviously, nothing but the best for Harding as he continues to move forward in fighting this disease. It is great to see him back around the team as they continue their push for the playoffs, and seeing him practicing again is a huge bonus even though he is not expected to return this year.
Congrats to Harding on earning a second Masterton Trophy nomination.
For info on Harding's charity "Harding's Hope", check out hardingshope.com
Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell