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Smile, everyone! The Capitals announced Wednesday morning that they have re-signed pending restricted free agent defenseman Nate Schmidt to a two-year, one-way deal. Schmidt will make $750,000 in 2015-2016 and $875,000 in 2016-2017. With Mike Green’s likely departure, Schmidt should receive a full-time roster spot next season.

The 23-year-old Minnesotan has scored three goals and seven assists in 68 career games for the Capitals, including one goal and three assists in 39 games last season. He has tallied six goals and 20 assists in 65 career games with the Hershey Bears in the AHL.

Though he was sidelined by injury for part of the 2014-2015 season, Schmidt made the Caps “wayyyy better” when he was playing. Schmidt’s 54-percent possession was first among Caps defenseman.

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Nate Schmidt: 2014-15 Season Review

Once again, Nate Schmidt put up a sterling performance for the Washington Capitals and was rewarded for his effort by a demotion to Hershey.

Same Schmidt, different day.

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Photo: mndaily.com

On Tuesday afternoon, the Minnesota Golden Gophers tweeted the Washington Capitals with a suggestion: play Nate Schmidt.

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Your favorite player might play in the biggest game of the season. Smiling god/defenseman Nate Schmidt has been recalled from the Hershey Bears. If he plays in game seven on Wednesday, he’ll be filling in for Tim Gleason, who was beleaguered and banged up in game six.

With Gleason out (but not necessarily because Gleason was out), the Capitals dominated the final ten minutes of that game.

When Nate Schmidt and Mike Green were on the ice together during 5v5 this season, the Capitals controlled 55.1 percent of the shot attempts.

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Photo credit: Julie Jacobson

For about an hour on Friday night, Curtis Glencross was a playoff hero. His breakaway goal with 10:54 left in the third period looked like it was going to send the Capitals to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in 17 years.

The Rangers, however, tied the game late. In overtime, Glencross attempted a cross-ice pass to spring Brooks Laich. It was a bad one. The trade deadline acquisition stopped and flipped the puck lazily into the hands of Rangers forward Jesper Fast. Within a few seconds, the game was over. Glencross fell to his knees as the Rangers celebrated their comeback victory.

Speaking to the media after the game, Glencross was shellshocked — and perhaps headed for a benching. But instead, he will play tonight, skating once more with Laich and Tom Wilson on the fourth line as the Caps look to close out the series in game six at Verizon Center.

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Smile!

The Caps have announced that they have recalled defenseman Nate Schmidt from Hershey. This is an emergency recall. Apparently, Mike Green is banged up. The Caps listed him a day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Schmidt has 2 goals and 4 assists, and a 53.4-percent shot-attempt percentage in 29 games for the Caps this season. He recently returned from a fractured shoulder blade.

We like Schmidt around here. We like him a lot.

We also like Mike Green.

While the loss of Green on the blue line is a big blow to the team, it appears as if it’s a short-term thing. Having a replacement as capable as Schmidt waiting in the wings speaks to the blue-line depth that Brian MacLellan has built in his short time as General Manager.

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Tim Gleason: Mike Green’s On-Ice Bodyguard

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Photo Credit: Gregg Forwerck

Hard to play against, tough customer, character guy: those were some of the hockey superlatives thrown around by Barry Trotz and his players when asked about Tim Gleason, the team’s newly acquired D-man.

“He’ll keep people honest,” Trotz told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “You want to take a shot at Greenie, he can back it up.”

Yep, despite whatever my zany Russian political science professor and Some People on the Internet say, Mike Green isn’t going anywhere.

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Report: Capitals Targeting Another Top-Nine Forward

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Even though the NHL trade deadline is still five days away, a flurry of deals have already been made. The Devils dumped Jaromir Jagr to the Panthers; the Hurricanes traded Jiri Tlusty to the Jets and Andrej Sekera to the Kings; the Penguins acquired Daniel Winnik from the Leafs; and the Blue Jackets took David Clarkson from the Leafs for some ungodly reason.

The already small group of rentals and useful players has gotten even smaller.

“You need two to dance and we’re going to the dance and there’s 30 guys and there’s only about eight girls at the dance,” Barry Trotz said to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt Thursday, essentially calling the 2015 trade deadline a sausage fest. “That’s what it is. There’s only going to be like eight or nine guys dancing.”

Early Thursday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Brian MacLellan has been burning the phone lines pursuing another top-nine forward.

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Photo: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey

UPDATE, January 12, 10:40 AM. Schmidt has a fracture in his shoulder blade and will miss 6-8 weeks.

Washington Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt is just a ball of positive energy regardless of the Schmiduation. After only playing in two NHL games since December 18th (despite having the second best possession numbers among all Caps defensemen), head coach Barry Trotz sent Schmidt down to Hershey to get in some work over the weekend.

On Saturday, Schmidt nearly scored a hat trick. Then, on Sunday, the 23-year-old defenseman got injured (the severity is still unknown) after taking a run from Admirals forward Chris Wagner.

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Scarf

Photo credit: Chris Gordon.

On Wednesday afternoon, Nate Schmidt sat in the corner of the Washington Nationals clubhouse, quietly taking off his gear after Caps practiced outside at Nats Park. With the NHL taking over the baseball stadium, the room has been temporarily transformed into a hockey locker room, though it’s not quite as smelly as a real one. To Schmidt’s right, around 15 reporters gathered around Karl Alzner, eager for his thoughts on the eyewear revolution he started. As RMNB’s Chief Fashion Reporter, I had my eye on a different aspect of Winter Classic apparel: the scarf Schmidt was wearing.

“This is my first ever scarf experience!” Schmidt gleefully announced to me. “First ever. I used to always make fun of people who wore scarves.”

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