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Agent says Nate Schmidt, Golden Knights in ‘same range’ on contract

With Thursday’s arbitration date looming, the agent for Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt remains optimistic a deal can get done before the scheduled hearing.

Matt Keator of Olympic Sports Management, who represents the restricted free agent, said Monday he hoped to talk to Knights general manager George McPhee and close whatever gap remains in the negotiations and avoid having to go in front of an arbiter.

“We’re in the same range,” Keator said. “It’s just a matter of talking and getting a deal done that’s fair to both sides.”

McPhee, who is attending the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan, said through a team spokesman that things are status quo in the process and that the team will make an announcement when and if a deal gets done prior to Thursday.

Schmidt earned $875,000 last season as a member of the Washington Capitals. He played in 60 games, scored three goals and had 14 assists. He also had a goal and three assists in 11 playoff games.

He was left unprotected in the NHL Expansion Draft and was selected by the Golden Knights as Washington’s pick. The Capitals had made Schmidt a qualifying offer prior to his being selected by the Knights.

Keator said there was still time to avoid Thursday’s arbitration hearing in Toronto.

“I’m sure we’ll talk sometime this week,” he said. “I talked to George last week and there’s no rush. There’s still time.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

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