By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - Josh Harding's heroic battle with multiple sclerosis was marked by another milestone Friday afternoon as the Professional Hockey Writers Association named Harding the winner of the 2013 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Each year the Masterton award is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice. Harding's journey (on and off the ice) from his MS diagnosis before the season, through a roller coaster year and all the way to starting game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Minnesota Wild exemplifies all the necessary characteristics to have earned the accolade.
The annual award is named after former Minnesota North Star player Bill Masterton who died after suffering an on-ice injury during the 1968 season. The honor itself was first awarded following that very season.
Harding, who appeared in only five regular season games during the shortened season, was thrown between the pipes and started each of the Wild's five playoff games this year saving 123 of the 135 shots sent his way.
Harding is the first Minnesota Wild player to ever have won the award.