In a statement, the Vegas Golden Knights said they "strongly disagree with the suspension."
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt will miss the first 20 games of the season after being suspended without pay for violating the NHL's performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced.
Schmidt can participate in training camp, but cannot dress or play in preseason games. His suspension includes a mandatory referral to the NHL/NHPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health. He'll be evaluated and potentially receive treatment.
Both the Golden Knights and Schmidt issued statements objecting the NHL's ruling.
"While we respect the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program and are committed to its success, we strongly disagree with the suspension," the team statement read. "We firmly believe that the presence of a trace of the banned substance was accidental and unintentional."
"I understand that I will miss these games," Schmidt said in his statement, "but I do not agree with the suspension and I will not accept being labeled a cheater."