"Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh and his family," general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement distributed by the organization. "Josh's competitive fire has led him to a successful career in the NHL and we know he will approach this new battle in the same manner."
Harding played in a career-high 34 games last season. He missed the entire 2010-11 season after he tore anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee during an exhibition game in September. Harding was 13-12-4 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .917 save percentage over 30 starts in 2011-12. The resiliency he used to return from the knee injury will be necessary again.
"Obviously you've got to feel a little bit for Josh. That's news that no one really wants to hear," Wild center Darroll Powe said. "But he's done well with it, and he looks great out on the ice. He's maintained a positive attitude, so it's good to see."
Harding said he wanted to reveal his condition now to avoid the potential distraction during a season if the news came out then. He's also hopeful of raising awareness about the disease.
"Whoever is having a tough time with MS, if I cannot let this get me down and continue on to my goal, maybe that'll help them out," he said. "If I can help one person, that's all it takes for me. If I can help out 100, it's even better."
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