Schmidt’s new deal will run through the 2024-25 season and it has an average annual value of $5.95 million. That is a nice rise from the $2.25M AAV he was making. Schmidt produced five goals and 36 points in 76 games last season. He’ll be the highest paid dman on Vegas next year. His extension in length mirrors Theodore’s, but Shea’s AAV is only $5.2M.
The 27-year-old Schmidt has banned 20 games last month for violating the NHL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He can return to the Golden Knights on Nov. 18.
“He is the kind of defenceman that every team in this league is looking for now,” Vegas general manager George McPhee said. “He is unique, excellent defensively and has become a shutdown defenceman for us playing against the other clubs’ top players. But he also brings a lot of pace to the game and he brings offense.”
The Golden Knights are, (4-4-1), to start the year. They are clearly missing Nate Schmidt who lead the Western Conference champions in ice time last season at 22:14 per game.
“He means a lot,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “He’s a top player for us. He’s done a great job playing defense for us last year. Obviously, he got a real nice contract that he deserves, and we miss him a lot. So he’s a big player for our group and we’re happy to have him for long term.”
He and the Golden Knights released statements disagreeing with the penalty, though neither specified the substance. Schmidt said one of the experts testifying on his behalf at the appeal hearing likened the amount to a pinch of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The appeal, which was heard by a neutral arbitrator, was denied.
If Schmidt continues to play as he did last year, upon return he will be worth every penny of this contract.
Schmidt, is not only a very likable guy; he is a significant piece for the success of the Las Vegas Golden Knights.