Hackett back in NHL with shot to secure Wild job
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.