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The Noon Countdown: Developing Schmidtuation

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Counting down the days to the 2015-16 season with a look at the Caps' probable third-pair defenseman

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

39 - Number of days remaining until the 2015-16 season. But it's also...

...the number of games played by Nate Schmidt for the Caps last season. A trip back to Hershey - immediately followed by a shoulder injury that kept him out for a couple of months - shortened Schmidt's time in the NHL, but his 39 games were still 11 more than he'd gotten in his rookie season a year before.

Schmidt will likely see that total increase dramatically in 2015-16, when (barring another injury or performance issue) he'll be penciled in on the Caps' third defensive pair.