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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt has been suspended for the first 20 games of the season by the National Hockey League, without pay, according to a statement from the team.

Schmidt was suspended due to "violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program," the statement said.

"While we respect the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program and are committed to its success, we strongly disagree with the suspension" the Golden Knights said. "We firmly believe that the presence of a trace of the banned substance was accidental and unintentional."

The Golden Knights continued, "Based on our conversations with Nate, analysis from independent medical experts and sworn testimony from the parties involved, we believe it is clear Nate was not able to reasonably ascertain how the substance entered his body. Nate is an honest person with high moral character and great integrity. We will stand by him and support him during this time."

The Vegas Golden Knights have refused to make any additional comments in regards to Schmidt's suspension.

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