One of the biggest storylines heading into the Stanley Cup Finals is Nate Schmidt going up against his old club. Schmidt spent four seasons in Washington before the team left him exposed in the expansion draft where the Vegas Golden Knights promptly selected him. In his session at media day, Schmidt talked about watching his old team win Game 7 as well as his thoughts on being left exposed in the expansion draft which will give him motivation as he looks to help the Golden Knights continue to make history.
“When I watched Game 7 last week it felt like it was meant to be,” a smiling Schmidt told reporters. “I don’t know if you could’ve written this up any better.”
Schmidt was asked if he reached out to any of his former teammates after the game.
“There’s a few things that may or may not have been said. Bunch of bad guys over there,” Schmidt joked.
Obviously Schmidt will be the one player on the Golden Knights who knows the Capitals best and can get his teammates ready for a high-flying and hard-hitting team like them.
“It’s something that.. you know what’s gonna happen. You know that Tommy Wilson is gonna be flying down the wall sometimes. You gotta keep your head up!,” said Schmidt.
“At the end of the day you want to say that it’s another game but it means a lot to this city for us to be here so it means a lot to me. Who could’ve scripted this at the expansion draft last year? I don’t think anybody could’ve. It’s pretty special where both teams are. The proposed window to come back open in Washington and then for us to be here as an expansion.”
Schmidt was asked about his feelings on being left exposed in the expansion draft.
“It was a little bit bittersweet. You thought you had done enough to put yourself in the position that you’d still be in Washington, a team that had signed you and you thought you’ve done enough but at the same time, it was sad to leave a good group but happy to have an opportunity to reunite with George, play with (college teammate) Erik Haula,” Schmidt said. “We all could start over and the perception of your game could be remodeled and redone and that’s the coolest part of what we’ve been able to do in Vegas.”
In George McPhee’s media session, he explained more on what went down with getting Schmidt in the expansion draft. McPhee mentioned that after the expansion draft was over, Brian MacLellan reached out to him and tried to propose a deal to get him back. McPhee liked Schmidt and had every intention of selecting him in the expansion draft so he asked for a steep price.
Asked McPhee about how it went down with getting Nate Schmidt in the expansion draft. He said Brian MacLellan reached out after Schmidt was selected to see if they could make a deal to get him back. McPhee says they really liked Schmidt so they asked a high price of the Caps…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 27, 2018
Nate Schmidt and the Golden Knights face-off against the Capitals Monday night at 8 p.m. eastern/5 p.m. pacific.
By Michael Marzzacco