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Arbitrator Awards Nate Schmidt Two Year Contract Worth $4.45M

For the first time since 2015, an NHL player filed for arbitration, went to the hearing, and was awarded a contract via arbitration.

Nate Schmidt, the player Vegas selected from the Washington Capitals at the Expansion Draft, was awarded a two year contract worth $4.45M.

Prior to the arbitration hearing it was reported Schmidt and his agent were seeking a one year deal for $2.75M while the Golden Knights were looking for a two year deal worth around $1M per year. Aside from the obvious difference in contract value, the length was an important portion of these negotiations, and likely the reason an arbitration hearing was necessary.

Schmidt, 26, will be eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of his next contract, so it would have suited him nicely to be on a one year deal. Vegas on the other hand preferred to keep him under control for as long as possible, especially before having the opportunity to see him play in a Golden Knights jersey.

It went fine. Both sides were very professional and Nate handled it well. –Matt Keator, Schmidt’s agent

Neither the Golden Knights, Schmidt, nor his agent Matt Keator have commented since the ruling.

**We will have more if/when either side comments on the contract.**

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7 Comments

  1. Chad

    Schmidt gets a reasonable amount and the Knights show that they will not be push overs. Both sides win.

    • PhiSig 150

      One way to look at. If arbitration in the NHL was more common place don’t think I’d care one way or the other. Since it’s so rare not sure if going to full arbitration damages the Knights reputation somewhat and put a future strain on the relationship with Schmidt. If I was him I know I’d be keeping this in the back of mind next go around.

  2. RJ

    Seems like a good compromise for both sides. I dont think anyone’s reputation is damaged, this is part of the business of hockey. Any player that doesn’t understand that is to immature for this grown up sport. Nate Schmidt himself has said the right things so it seems like everything is fine.

    • Phisig150

      I get that but why were the only team last 2 years that couldn’t settle before final arbitration decision was delivered. If I’m Schmidt’s agent next go around I know VGK is going to play hardball so I would negoitiate accordingly. Agents are a small community.

      • RJ

        I’m with you, but I just don’t imagine it’s that big a deal. Every agent and every GM is always playing hardball. It is the very rare exception that anyone gets a ‘hometown discount’ or anything like that. As Marc Bergevin recently said, if you want loyalty, buy a dog.

  3. James

    @RJ
    ‘Seems like a good compromise for both sides.’

    It appears that we got the better end of the deal – Apparently Schmidt was hoping to strike it rich as a unrestricted free agent next year – The second year is good for us. If we desire a long term deal, it gives us more leverage to negotiate.

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