Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt was the only player in the NHL to have his contract through a ruling made in arbitration. In fact, he’s the first player to have done so since 2015.
It’s a process in which each side gets together (team and player/agent) and they make arguments to a third party arbitrator on what they believe the player should be paid. Obviously, this means the team wants a lower salary and the player/agent want higher. So, it turns into a bit of a tug-of-war between employee and employer.
It’s tough sometimes sitting in those meetings. 50% of it was awesome. You are sitting there and they are pumping your tires and talking about how great you are and I was thinking ‘man, I feel like a stud out here.’ Then the next part comes and I’m thinking ‘oh man, what am I doing, I should hang the skates up.’ I had a note pad and truth be told I kept writing down, ‘this is just a business this is not personal they don’t really feel this way.’ I had to repeat that a couple times and I was getting a little frustrated. -Nate Schmidt
Schmidt, appearing on the Vegas Hockey Hotline on KSHP 1400 (see below), also confirmed the rumors that the Golden Knights wanted a multi year deal while he was looking for a one year deal.
At first, we were thinking a one year deal but I love that I’ll be in this for an extra year. -Schmidt
Here at SinBin.vegas, we’ve speculated that the Golden Knights were using Schmidt to set an example, basically showing RFAs in the future they are willing to go all the way through with arbitration if that’s what it takes. Schmidt offered up another possible motive behind the case as well.
Hey, that’s just the way it goes. I tried to have a good attitude about it, it’s something they had never been through before some people maybe wanted to have some experience as well. I think it’s a great process because it brings the sides together because no one really wants to do it, but you know what I think it was good the way everything played out. -Schmidt
As always, Nate Schmidt is an absolute joy to listen to and his perspectives on the game, and life for that matter, are great. We’ve previously predicted that he’ll be the fan favorite when the Golden Knights finally finish up in Idaho, Montana, and Utah and head to Vegas. This interview only further confirms it. Give it a listen, it’s definitely a fun one.
**Interview starts at 48:30**