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Tag: Nate Schmidt

Vegas May Want Will Butcher, But Does He Want Vegas?

Before we all start panicking about Nate Schmidt’s ankle injury, let’s take a deep breath. George McPhee suggested it’ll take “the week or so” before an injury update. We can save our overreaction for when that “or so” bleeds into training camp. Plus, the Schmidt-scare gives us an opportunity to discuss the stud NCAA free agent defenseman the Golden Knights reached out to.

To our knowledge, Vegas has only pursued a few NCAA free agents during their first offseason, and Neal Pionk (signed w/ NRY) and Spencer Foo (signed w/ CGY) were the only two names seriously connected to the Golden Knights. Ultimately, both chose other NHL franchises, which makes you wonder, why?

I know that we’ve had real good coverage. We’ve targeted a very small number (of college free agents). To be honest with you, we haven’t cast a wide net. -Kelly McKrimmon, Assistant General Manager

That was Golden Knights’ Assistant GM back in early April. Foo and Pionk were targeted, and now Vegas appears to have its eyes on the new NCAA golden boy, Will Butcher.

The conversation went well. The management was well prepared and painted an impressive picture of their plan and how a player like Will would fit into that. –Brian Bartlett, Will Butcher’s agent to LVRJ

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Nate Schmidt Sounds Off On Arbitration

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**

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.**

Nate Schmidt’s Going To Be Your Favorite Player, You Just Don’t Know It Yet

Unfortunately, SinBin.vegas has nothing to update regarding Nate Schmidt‘s pending contract. His scheduled arbitration hearing on August 3rd is quickly approaching and we’re hoping a third-party ruling is unnecessary. If you need an arbitration lesson, watch this quick video the Golden Knights posted.

According to some projections, Schmidt is due to make $2+ million per year. By all accounts the Golden Knights are anticipating a signed contract with the former Golden Gopher defenseman.

We’ll do our best to reach a deal. But we’re comfortable with the arbitration process because it gets the deal done. -George McPhee to Review-Journal

It’s in everyone’s, including fans, best interest a deal gets done amicably. The last thing VGK fans need is an unhappy Mr. Smile. Vegas fans will want the same fun, wild Schmidt Washington adored. Don’t believe me? Believe the hundreds of pissed-off Capitals fans on Twitter. Their collective depression should have Vegas fans ecstatic. Schmidt is the early favorite to become a the next Strip celebrity.

Here are comments from heart-broken Capitals fans this past week.

https://twitter.com/cheerknithanson/status/889528840816648194

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Advanced Stats For VGK Dummies: Corsi For Percentage

Now that the Golden Knights have players, and will soon begin playing actual games and accruing statistics, we felt like now was a good time to learn the roster, by dumbing down different advanced statistics in the NHL.

Everyone understands goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, and time on ice, but for many hockey fans words like Corsi, Fenwick, PDO, and zone starts send off the instant “too much info, ignore and move on” signal. Since the Golden Knights are probably going to be bad, and the standard stats are likely to all have asterisks next to them with people saying “well someone has to score the goals,” we think it’s best if we use the downtime of July and August to take the stigma away from advanced stats, and get a feel for who the Golden Knights actual have on the roster.

Up first, Corsi and Corsi For Percentage.

Corsi is a statistic that measures the true number of shots a player takes during a game. It was created by an Edmonton Oilers blogger when he heard a GM mention the term “shot differential” but not have concrete numbers to back it up. So, like any good Internet user, he put in the research, came up with the numbers, and created a stat that’s now widely used in the NHL. So what is it exactly?

Corsi = Shots on Goal + Missed Shots + Blocked Shots Against 

It’s fairly simple, it’s just all shot attempts. Corsi can be measured for a team or for an individual. For a team, it’s simply all shot attempts. For an individual, it’s all shot attempts by the team while that player is on the ice. So, for every shot, the team gets +1 on their Corsi rating, and five players get +1 on their individual Corsi rating.

Obviously that stat means nothing if not put in context with what the other team is doing. So, each player has a “Corsi For” and a “Corsi Against” rating. Corsi Against is simply a Corsi rating for the other team while a player is on the ice.

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Whose Name Should Be On The Back Of Your Golden Knights Jersey

Right now if you head down to The Armory at T-Mobile Arena, you can become one of the first to pre-order a Golden Knights jersey. The tough part is deciding which name to choose to put on the back. We’re here to help aid in that process.

The Safe Picks
Marc-Andre Fleury and Deryk Engelland

The Flower is already the fan favorite in Vegas, and will almost certainly be starting in net on Opening Night. Engelland is the hometown hero who is the only free agent that decided to join the Golden Knights (I know there were others, but c’mon). Both are safe because we are pretty darn sure neither are going to be traded before the season begins. Short term, these are safe and good options. Long term might be a bit riskier.

Fleury has two years left on his contract and the Golden Knights are already lining up options to take over behind him. Odd are Fleury will be around for the entire inaugural season, but his second season and beyond gets tough. He’s going to be a candidate for a deadline deal in 2019 and will likely not remain with the Golden Knights after he hits free agency. Similarly, Engelland will be in Vegas for this season, but the future beyond 2018 is a major question mark. Really can’t go wrong with either, but chances are, you’ll be needing a replacement sooner than later if you go this route.

The Names You Know
James Neal, David Perron, and Brayden McNabb

You can expect every guy on this list to be on the first 23 man roster the Golden Knights release, but they are all going to be dangled to other teams as the season progresses. Here’s the biggest problem with having a jersey with any of these names on the back of it, the better he plays, the more likely he is to be shipped out. So, you are either stuck with a jersey of a guy playing poorly or a guy playing great (for a bad team) who is probably getting traded. Not exactly ideal for your first Golden Knights jersey.

The OGs
Reid Duke and Vadim Shipachyov

Both are great options but come with major concerns. With Duke, the concern is right away in the fact that he’s probably not going to make the team out of camp (and possibly ever). But, he’ll always be the first Golden Knight, he’s an awesome guy , and everybody loves a good underdog story.

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Taking Nate Schmidt Caused Change In Plans On Grubauer For Washington

Doubt this reminder is necessary, but here it is anyway, George McPhee was the general manager of the Washington Capitals for 17 years from 1997-2014. He was fired at the end of the 2014 season because the seemingly championship quality roster just couldn’t get over the hump and win the Stanley Cup.

McPhee moved on to work with Garth Snow and the New York Islanders, Team Canada at the IIHF Worlds, and eventually, take the job in Vegas. The Capitals are well, still the Capitals.

So when the Expansion Draft rolled around, to many, Washington was one of the most interesting selections of the 30 McPhee and Vegas were to make. Most believed the pick would be Philipp Grubauer, the backup goalie who was drafted by McPhee in the 4th round in 2010. Grubauer was one of the league’s best #2 goalies in 2016-17 and appeared to be the perfect option to fill the same role behind Marc-Andre Fleury as a Golden Knight.

But no, instead, Vegas picked Nate Schmidt, the 25-year-old defenseman that went undrafted out of University of Minnesota and signed with Washington (McPhee) in 2013. Schmidt had a +22 rating last season and is +34 in the past two seasons, his first full seasons at the NHL level. Schmidt came over as a restricted free agent whom Vegas clearly had future plans.

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Breaking Down McPhee’s Expansion Draft Interview With Sportsnet

Since Wednesday when the Golden Knights made their 30 selections from the Expansion Draft and subsequent transactions, GM George McPhee hasn’t been answering a ton of questions, especially with local media. Luckily, the guys from Prime Time Sports had McPhee on the phone for 20 minutes and asked a lot of the unasked questions.

Since there’s so much in the interview (and a few others), we transcribed the most important quotes and offered our analysis on what it means about the Expansion Draft, upcoming trades, and the future of the Golden Knights. Here it is.

(There were) only one or two teams we didn’t get a deal with that we thought they would want to have a deal to protect their roster. -McPhee

Analysis: Best guesses would be Ottawa, Nashville, Montreal, and/or Washington. Clearly seeing both Ottawa and Montreal going back after Marc Methot and Alexei Emelin proves they were unable to reach a deal during the Expansion Draft. Washington makes sense because most expected Philipp Grubauer to be selected and Vegas ended up taking Nate Schmidt. A deal may have been talked about and never reached… and/or McPhee wanted to stick it to Washington. Nashville lost James Neal, hard to believe they were okay to just let that happen.

The rules were better for us, but we were dealing with some things that hadn’t been dealt with in the past like free agents. It didn’t make a lot of sense for us to claim free agents when they were going to be free in two weeks. Unless it was a throw away pick. -McPhee

Analysis: Wait, what? So what was Deryk Engelland? He hinted at it a bit in a previous presser to a SinBin.vegas question saying there were some things to not like about Calgary’s list, but this really cements it. Calgary had nothing else at all to claim in the eyes of McPhee, so they went ahead and essentially threw the pick away by signing a player they certainly would have gotten on July 1st. (Engelland’s surprise to getting handed a contract during the Expansion Draft further confirms this.)

There were some teams where if you just looked at their situation there weren’t many ways out. If we didn’t do a deal with them, and they traded a player and lost a player, then they lose and we lose too. We thought it was better to get a deal done rather than claim the second best player or third best player.

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