The Minnesota Wild will be without Josh Harding on Friday when they take on the Dallas Stars. Harding was initially noted as having "tweaked" something in practice on Tuesday, so Matt Hackett was called up on Wednesday in the event that Harding wouldn't be able to go. Harding didn't travel with the team to Dallas due to an illness, so Hackett will be the immediate backup to Niklas Backstrom.
Or will he? According to the Star Tribune, Wild head coach Mike Yeo suggested that Hackett could get the start in net against the Stars. It would make sense, especially if the team was trying to maintain a specific goalie schedule. Hackett has only started one game in the NHL, but is 2-0 with a .977 save percentage. He's stopped 84 of 86 shots faced and is considered one of the better young goalie prospects in the NHL.
All of this is significant because of the trade deadline coming up. The Wild could conceivably have three starting-caliber goaltenders on their hands, and while they usually don't demand a ton in the trade market, there are some teams who really need one at the moment. Could Hackett be auditioning as potential trade bait, or are the Wild considering moving Harding, and that's why he's not playing? It'll be interesting to see where this goes, even if it just means we get to see Hackett in action again.
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