For Senators, Pinto skates will make debut on Jan. 21

Pinto skates with Senators

Shane Pinto rejoined the Ottawa Senators Friday for the first time since being issued his 41-game suspension for violating league gambling rules.

After their skating event on January 18, Senators interim head coach Jacques Martin confirmed Pinto will make his season debut against the Philadelphia Flyers when eligible on January 21.

Shane Pinto rejoined the Ottawa Senators

Martin noted: “He may need time to adapt to not just practicing, but playing actual game matches as well,” since they are young with much energy to channel into competitions. Once they step onto a court, it takes some practice for players like this one to find their timing in matches.”

Pinto remains a restricted free agent, but Chris Johnston from TSN Hockey Insider reported earlier this week that she expects Pinto to sign a contract before January 21.


Johnston of Insider Trading shared that Ottawa Senators rookie William Karlsson will soon “step it up even more, having already spent several weeks skating here. When the Senators return from their road trip this week, plans are in place for him to join practice alongside his teammates; no contract needs to be finalized in order for this process to start.” “That way he can build conditioning with them as his teammates take advantage of every rep available to them in an effort to bring up their conditioning to new levels,” according to Johnston.

Shane Pinto rejoined the Ottawa Senators Reports

“He should sign his deal before January 21, the date when he can legally come back into play for Ottawa – when his eligibility will become apparent. Once roster moves are made, signing him should not be difficult, ” Sens GM Paul McCarville stated.

Pinto joined Jacob Bernard-Docker during Friday’s skate to form a fourth defense pairing.
The NHL suspended Pinto for activities related to sports wagering in October, though its investigation revealed no evidence he placed any bets on NHL games. Pinto previously missed some early Senators games while unsigned.

Pinto addressed his suspension for the first time on Friday and expressed surprise over it.

“I was truly heartbroken,” Pinto lamented. “I put so much time and energy into playing football that to have it taken away for an indefinite amount of time is difficult to accept – you feel shocked and betrayed when this news hits home.
Postmedia hockey columnist Bruce Garrioch reported that, upon Pinto’s suspension, all previous contract offers made to him were canceled; his qualifying offer to preserve his rights issued back in June remains available at $874,125.

He scored 20 goals and amassed 35 points over 82 games last season – his inaugural full year as an NHLer.

Senator’s head coach, Paul Senator, looks forward to welcoming back center Paul Wesley after their winless five-game road trip. Wesley believes his arrival could provide a much-needed momentum boost.

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