Yesterday, the Nation was abuzz with news that the Minnesota Wild were putting Josh Harding on waivers. From the reaction on Twitter, a lot of you thought that claiming him was an obvious choice. When you think about it, was it really that obvious?
Before we begin, I just want to say that I think the goaltending for the Oilers hasn’t been nearly good enough. I also think Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth would agree with that. They have to be better, and both goalies know it. I’m also not saying that I’m willing to wait around all season for them to turn their season around, but I don’t think picking up Josh Harding would be a great solution either.
Before Harding’s health deteriorated, he was lighting the NHL on fire. In 29 appearances last season, Harding was sporting a fantastic .933 save% and a GAA of only 1.65. It goes without saying, those are goaltending stats that any team in the NHL would love, and Harding was doing it all in spite of his MS. There was early season Vezina buzz, there was endless praise, but then life happened. Unfortunately, Harding’s MS symptoms were no longer controllable and he lost his season because of it.
The last game Harding was able to play was on December 31st, 2013. If the Oilers had picked him up, at best, there would have been 11 months between starts, and that’s not even considering his health concerns or the story about the broken foot stemming from a fight with a teammate. Even if the Oilers had claimed him, there would have likely been weeks of knocking off the rust of not playing NHL games. We don’t have time for that. The Oilers are already in a hole and I’m not sure how many games they could allow a guy to get back into game shape.
Not to mention, have we all forgotten about the 3-headed monster that existed in the Oilers net in the Conklin-Markkanen-Morrison days? Or Roloson-Garon-JDD? Or JDD-Dubnyk-Khabibulin? Maybe the Oilers could have picked Harding up and traded one of the existing goalies away, but that would have taken time.
If the Oilers are going to change things up in net, I would prefer that they find a solution that could stick around for a while. Who would that be? I don’t have the answer. As much as I wish the best for Josh Harding, and his health, I don’t think he would have been a great fit with where the Oilers are at. At best, Harding would have been a stop gap and that’s unfortunately due to health issues out of Harding’s control. Picking up Harding likely would have been putting a bandaid on a much bigger problem.
Am I wrong? Let me know what you guys think.
Over the summer, we did a series of charity auctions for a very special little girl named Kelty. Kelty needed help to pay for an expensive muscle lengthening surgery in the USA. Amazingly (but not surprisingly), the Nation stepped up in droves. Countless people got in touch offering items for auction, and even more people joined in on the bidding.
In the end, we were able to raise over $5,000 to help Kelty’s family pay for the surgery and ensuing rehabilitation. Over the weekend, Kelty’s mom, Katie, emailed me an update on how she’s doing and I thought it would be great to share.
Hi OilersNation 🙂
Kelty’s trip to New Jersey was an absolute success. She had a new pair of custom ankle-foot orthotics made by Dr. Paul Jordan and is is making progress EVERYDAY learning how to use her “new legs” after having the Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening by Dr. Roy Nuzzo.
Kelty’s legs have NEVER functioned as loosely, or independently as they do now. We’re now 3 months post-surgery and the first 3 pictures (attached) are positions that were IMPOSSIBLE for Kelty to achieve prior to the surgery. As the pictures suggest, the reduced spasticity and increased range of motion in her legs is dramatically clear. It has taken time for her to figure how to use her “new” muscles effectively, but patience and continued ABM therapy in Toronto has helped a ton.
As far as walking goes, she is making HUGE independent gains with her pediatric walker, and (because of the surgery and custom AFO’s) is now walking flat footed without dragging her toes (Please see last attached image). I have absolutely NO DOUBT that her goal of independent walking will be reached sooner and with much less frustration due to the generosity that made this a reality for Kelty.
Thank you all so very, very, very much.
Kelty (and all the people who love her)
Again, we can’t thank you guys enough for volunteering your items and hard earned cash. You guys really stepped up to the plate, and it shows what kind of community we have going here. Congrats, Nation, and thank you.