Following his arbitration hearing on Thursday, an arbiter has awarded Vegas Golden Knights defenseman a two-year, $4.5 million contract that would pay him an average salary of $2.25 million per season.
That is more than what Vegas had asked for heading into the session, reportedly asking for a two-year deal that would have paid Schmidt $975,000 per season. Schmidt asked for a one-year deal that would have paid him $2.75 million.
The team now has to decide if it will accept the ruling and pay Schmidt the awarded amount, or walk away from it and allow Schmidt to become an unrestricted free agent.
Schmidt was selected by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft after he was left unprotected by the Washington Capitals. He appeared in 60 games for the Capitals during the 2016-17 season, scoring three goals and recording 14 assists. He is a strong skater and has some offensive upside to his game and would seem to be the type of player that would do well in a situation where he gets a more consistent role and is counted on to play bigger minutes. He always handled the minutes he received in Washington extremely well and was a strong performer on its blue line in the playoffs.