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Hackett back in NHL with shot to secure Wild job

Hackett back in NHL with shot to secure Wild job

Minnesota Wild goaltender Matt Hackett

Matt Hackett is back in the NHL. Could it be for good? Photo courtesy of Chris Jerina/AHLinPhotos.com

Matt Hackett is back in the NHL, and once again making good on a chance to make an impression that could land him a full-time job with the Minnesota Wild next season.

Called up after Niklas Backstrom suffered a groin injury that will keep him out two to four weeks, Hackett stopped all six shots in relief of a struggling Josh Harding against Detroit to earn Sunday’s start against Colorado. He lost 2-0 to the Avalanche, but was named the game’s second star for his 34-save effort, and while his numbers for the season dipped slightly, they remain impressive: 2-1-0 with a .971 save percentage and 0.96 goals-against average in an admittedly small six appearance sample size.

With Harding headed to unrestricted free agency, Hackett, who turns 22 Thursday and has already led Houston to a Calder Cup final in the AHL last season, has a shot at regular employment in the NHL, head coach Mike Yeo told the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

“The window’s open a little bit more than in the past,” Yeo told the Pioneer Press. “Every time, he’s been up before he’s known it was a kind of a short-term thing. For a kid like him, he’s just looking for an opportunity for what it is and that’s a chance to come up and be solid. If somebody’s able to get on a run here, we’d be happy to give it to them.”

InGoal Magazine’s Heather Galindo caught up with Hackett — and Wild goalie coach Bob Mason — for an in-depth feature on the Minnesota prospect and the things he’s working to improve on his road to the NHL.

About The Author

Kevin Woodley

Kevin Woodley is a rec-league target and former contributing editor of the Goalie News magazine. He has written about the Vancouver Canucks and NHL for The Associated Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News for the last decade, and covered the 2010 Olympics for The AP.

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