The Minnesota Wild placed goalie Josh Harding on waivers Monday night. Harding was on the team’s injured reserve list recovering from a fractured foot. He was set to make his return in the next few days.
This is a very bold move by the Minnesota Wild, however if starting goalie Nicklas Backstrom avoids injury, this team will be fine.
This move will certainly spark a lot of interest from several teams. Harding will not have to wait long to receive qualifying offers from other teams. With that in mind, here are three teams that could really benefit from having Harding as their starting goalie.
The Buffalo Sabres are at the bottom of the league and are using this season to continue rebuilding their squad.
Harding could be a valuable piece to that rebuilding process and will certainly benefit the Sabres in the long run. It may seem harsh to put Harding in such an abysmal situation with no hope of a playoff spot - after all he had a career high season last year, posting a record of 18-7-3 in 29 appearances. However, he hasn’t played a game yet this season. This could be the perfect opportunity for Harding to get back in shape and solidify a starting position for next season. Plus Sabres goalie Jonas Enroth could really use some help.
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The Arizona Coyotes could use a morale boost when it comes to goaltending. Mike Smith has not played well at all this season, posting a record of 4-9-0 so far. Backup goalie Devon Dubnyk has done an exceptional job holding down the fort during Mike’s slump.
However, if the organization picked up Harding, he could certainly help stop this team’s rapid descent down the standings. Smith had better pick up his game quickly or he could be out of a job come February.
The Washington Capitals continue to depend on goalie Braden Holtby to carry them through the season. The team currently sits in fifth place in the metropolitan division and Holtby has a record of 5-4-2.
It’s not a terrible position to be in, but there are several teams’ right behind them. Holtby would certainly benefit from Harding. Harding has plenty of experience and could certainly help Holtby improve his skills moving forward He could certainly help take some of the pressure off Holtby throughout the season and in the playoffs. At the right price, Harding would be an excellent addition to this Capitals squad.
These three teams would love to have Harding join their team. I can’t wait to see where Harding will end up next. It’s unfortunate that he was dropped in this way, but his NHL career is far from over. It will be interesting to see what teams' will pay to try and sign him moving forward.