Q&A with Nate Schmidt

Nate Schmidt


Photo by Amanda Bowen of RRBG Photography

Nate Schmidt was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to answer some questions. This interview was conducted via email in mid-August.

Pat Holden: In an article on Collegehockey.com from 2012, you credited the workout program between your Freshman and Sophomore year at Minnestoa for helping take your game to the next level. Is that still a part of your off-season training?

Nate Schmidt: I am still working out and training here in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota. I have a great strength coach in Cal Dietz, who tailors all of our programs for each of the individual athletes. It also helps when we have ice available all the time and a lot of pro alumni that skate and use it all summer. It makes for a great combination.

PH: Have you had any contact with the new coaching staffs in Washington or Hershey? What’s your reaction to the changes?

NS: I have spoken to both Coach Trotz and Coach Reirden since they were both hired this offseason. I am very excited for the opportunity that will allow me to be working with such established coaches that focus on development and creating winning cultures. As for Hershey, I have not but I did play for Coach Mann at the end of last year and there is familiarity there.

PH: Do the Orpik and Niskanen signings have any impact on your mindset heading into camp?

NS: As for the free-agent signs the summer, it just means that I have to work that much harder and that nothing is going to come easy for me this year. Both are tremendous players and are proven NHL guys, and anytime a team adds those types of players it shakes up the depth chart a little bit. But I am excited for the challenge and all I can do is work hard, and continue to develop into a more well-rounded defenseman.

PH: You’re a strong supporter of Defending the Blue Line and have donated your time to the cause. What specifically draws you to the cause? Is there anything Caps and Bears fans can do if they want to get involved?

NS: Defending the Blue Line is a first class organization ran by a first class gentleman by the name of Shane Hudella. I am a huge supporter of our troops and everything they do in order to keep us safe and allowing all of us to live safely and in pursuit of our dreams. I believe that it is the least I can do to help those who put so much on the line for us. It also is just a boatload of fun being a part of the events or just spending time with the military families as well. If any of the Caps or Bears fans want to check it out they can go online to defendingtheblueline.org to take a look!

Defending the Blue Line commercial starring Nate Schmidt!

PH: There were many of us in the Caps community calling for you to get more playing time in Washington last year, in part because your “advanced” stats, like Corsi and Fenwick, are stellar. A few teams have made hires this off-season that show “advanced” stats are being used more and more in NHL front offices. Are advanced stats something that, as a player, are on your radar?

NS: First, I appreciate the support! And as for the advanced stats from a players standpoint, it is something that is not talked about very often to be honest. Guys talk more about playmaking and puck moving ability as well as poise. Those are the ways we measure stats such as Corsi and Fenwick.

PH: Which Caps or Bears teammate would be the worst to live with?

NS: I can’t think of anyone that I really wouldn’t like to live with in the organization, I really can’t think of anyone. haha

PH: A little know fact: I beat John Carlson a few years ago in a game of NHL 12 on XBOX 360 after he tweeted his gamer profile. He played as the Caps and I won two fights against John Carlson the video character being controlled by the real John Carlson. Consider this my official announcement to anyone in the Caps organization, including you, that play the NHL games on 360 that I am undefeated vs. all Caps players and taking all comers!

NS: As for Carly’s gaming prowess, I don’t know how good of a player he is but I do feel that I would consider myself an NHL 14 contender!

(Editor’s note: Stay tuned to BrooksLaichyear for an EA Sports NHL battle between Nate and Pat later this season)


I’d like to thank Nate for taking the time to do this interview. It was really generous of him. However, I will still show no mercy when I crush him in EA Sports hockey later this season.

About Pat Holden

Pat writes regularly about hockey on Brooks Laichyear and Russian Machine Never Breaks. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com and The Washington Post. You can follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pfholden

Posted on September 15, 2014, in hockey, NHL, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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