Shane Pinto is set to make his 2023-24 debut with the Ottawa Senators after signing a one-year contract worth $775,000, the team announced on Friday. Pinto has been serving a 41-game suspension for violating the NHL’s gambling policy, and he will be eligible to return on Sunday.
Pinto, a second-round pick by Ottawa, began the season as a restricted free agent. The league allowed Pinto to serve his suspension despite being unsigned, and now that his 41-game ban is nearing its end, the Senators were able to sign him and add him to the roster.
Back in October, the NHL announced Pinto’s suspension after launching an investigation into his gambling activity. Although Pinto did not bet on the NHL, he was found to be in violation of the league’s gambling policy.
“I want to apologize to the National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators, my teammates, the fans and city of Ottawa and most importantly my family,” Pinto said in a statement at the time. “I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team.”
The last-place Senators need a shot in the arm, and the 23-year-old Pinto could provide that. Last season, Pinto had a bit of a breakout campaign with 20 goals and 15 assists in 82 games. Pinto should be able to give Ottawa some depth down the middle.