1500 ESPN SportsWire

Wild place stars Mikko Koivu, goalie Josh Harding on Injured Reserve

by Derek Wetmore, 1500ESPN.com Updated 11 months ago | 1396 reads

Ryan Suter earned NHL's third star of the week and the Wild are undefeated in 2014. That's pretty much where the good news stops.

Losers of six in a row entering the New Year, Minnesota now is without captain Mikko Koivu and goalie Josh Harding. The Wild on Monday announced both players have been assigned to the Injured Reserve.

In a corresponding move, the team has recalled defenseman Jonathon Blum and forward Erik Haula from the Iowa Wild (AHL).

Koivu suffered a "lower-body" injury Saturday in Minnesota's 5-3 win against the Capitals. The team later announced that it was a fractured ankle, on which Koivu had surgery Monday.

Harding was not able to start the past two games because of an illness, according to a release from the team. Harding has been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season and is as big a reason as any player the Wild (22-17-5) are in the hunt. Harding was placed on IR in mid-December to adjust his treatment of multiple sclerosis

The team did not make clear a timetable for Harding to return. Star forward Zach Parise continues to sit on the sidelines with an injured foot.

Minnesota currently is not in the playoff picture. The Wild are tied with the Phoenix Coyotes with 49 points, but have played three more games, which puts them at ninth in the Western Conference.

The Wild are in the hunt, but Monday's announcement figures to be a big blow.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
More from the 1500 ESPN SportsWire » Kyle Rudolph inactive, Robert Blanton active for Vikings in Miami » Chad Greenway's father has passed away » J.Myers: Defense, goaltending cost Wild all-important point in Central » Kuemper yanked again, Wild lose in OT to Predators » Pregame primer: 5 things to focus on during Vikings vs. Dolphins