Josh Harding likely out 'months' with ankle injury; Wild reach out to Bryz

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Josh Harding likely out 'months' with ankle injury; Wild reach out to Bryz
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  • Josh Harding
    Josh Harding
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  • Niklas Backstrom
    Niklas Backstrom
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  • Darcy Kuemper
    Darcy Kuemper
    Canadian ice hockey goaltender

The Minnesota Wild learned a valuable lesson last season in that you can never have enough organizational depth in goal. Between Josh Harding battling complications from multiple sclerosis to Niklas Backstrom’s knee injury to Darcy Kuemper’s concussion, general manager Chuck Fletcher kept busy making sure Rob Laurie or Paul Deutsch weren't needed to actually get in a game for once.

With training camp opening this week, the crease issues facing the Wild were even further complicated with news on Wednesday that Harding suffered an ankle injury that would keep him out of the lineup for months, according to Bob McKenzie.

RFA Darcy Kuemper is currently in a contract squabble with the club and has already played the dreaded KHL card, leaving Mike Yeo with only Backstrom and John Curry. Camp hasn’t even started and the frustration is setting in for the Wild head coach.

From the Star Tribune:

“You make plans over the summer. I mean, my staff, we’ve been making plans on who’s practicing, what practices we’re going to have, who’s playing in the exhibition games and this was under the assumption we would have Kuemps and Hards and obviously things have changed dramatically.

“We’ve gone from talking about three goalies to sitting here talking about one (Backstrom). I put on the cool face last year pretending we weren’t frustrated about [our goaltending issues], but we’re not even Day One into camp and we’re already talking about it.”

Yeo and Fletcher were planning to meet with Harding on Wednesday to find out exactly what happened. According to Mike Russo, "...there was apparently some kind of incident or altercation with a teammate." Oh. Boy.

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Harding’s injury opens the door for two things now: Fletcher gives in to Kuemper’s one-year, one-way contract demand (Minnesota wants two years, with the first a two-way deal) or he goes back to Ilya Bryzgalov, who, according to Russo, he's already been in contact with.

Tim Thomas, Martin Brodeur and Tomas Vokoun are other options still on the market if Fletcher wants to stockpile for the season.

UPDATE: The Wild confirm that Harding has a fractured foot and is out "indefinitely."

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!