It’s a good thing the Minnesota Wild have plenty of goaltending depth, because they’ve used just about all of it so far this season.
After Darcy Kuemper was called up to replace Josh Harding, who was having some issues with his MS, Kuemper went down with a groin injury against the Chicago Blackhawks. Which left Niklas Backstrom as the lone goaltender in Minnesota.
Never fear, though, because the Wild recalled Matt Hackett from the Houston Aeros to take Kuemper’s place on the roster behind Backstrom. He could actually end up getting the start on Sunday.
Hackett was having a pretty solid season for the Aeros, with a .500 record. But after what he did last season, it will be fun to see what he can do now that he’s back up with the Wild.
Last year, Hackett made seven starts with the Wild, and actually posted some really strong numbers. He posted a 2.38 GAA and .922 save percentage. Not bad for his first action at the top level. He has the tools to be a very successful goalie, with good size and smarts between the pipes.
This probably won’t be the last time Hackett makes the trip from Houston to Minnesota, unless he’s completely lights out and other goaltenders have larger issues coming back from their respective health-related issues.
But if Hackett comes out and plays well, he could establish himself as a real option for this team moving forward, with Backstrom as a free agent and Harding’s future completely up in the air. We’ve seen him play well up here before. Can he do it again?