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Nate Schmidt still looking to avoid arbitration hearing

The Golden Knights could make more history Thursday, but not necessarily the kind you want to make.

For the first time, the club may find itself involved in salary arbitration. Defenseman Nate Schmidt, a restricted free agent, was unable to come to terms with general manager George McPhee as of late Wednesday evening. Barring a last-minute deal, both sides will present their case to an arbiter in Toronto on Thursday.

According to Sportsnet in Canada, which first reported the figures Tuesday, Schmidt is asking for a one-year deal at $2.75 million. The Knights’ counter offer is two years with a total value of $1.9 million. Those are the likely figures being submitted to the arbiter.

Neither side would confirm the figures. But Matt Keator, who represents Schmidt, had said Monday that the two sides were in the same range. However, whatever gap remained had yet to be bridged as of Wednesday.

The team said late Wednesday there was nothing new to update. Attempts to reach Keator by phone and email Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Schmidt. 26, who was acquired from the Washington Capitals in the expansion draft on June 21, made $875,000 last season. The Capitals had made Schmidt his RFA qualifying offer prior to the Knights selecting him. Last season with the Capitals, Schmidt played in 60 games, scored three goals and had 14 assists for 17 points.

Of the 30 NHL players who had filed for arbitration last month, none ever made it to the arbiter. Schmidt is the lone remaining case.

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

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