The NHL continues to crawl closer to the start of training camp, and as usual, most teams have done much of their heavy lifting already, eager to see how new acquisitions mesh with their new teams. Unfortunately for the Ottawa Senators, they are still left without a contract for their sixth-highest goal-scorer during the 2021-22 season, Shane Pinto.
Only last week, the Boston Bruins, who much like the Senators have little salary cap flexibility to work with, had a reported interest in acquiring Pinto to fill their newfound void at the center position. Nevertheless, only a day later, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet spoke candidly about Pinto’s situation, describing that Ottawa would need to make a trade to fit him under the salary cap for the upcoming season.
It’s no surprise as to why the Senators would want to extend Pinto, as well as the reported outside interest from other teams around the league. At 22 years old, Pinto is coming off a 20-goal season and should come at a fairly cheap price as he is coming off of his entry-level contract.
Speaking in place for new owner Michael Andlauer during Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe’s monthly breakfast at City Hall, General Manager of the Senators, Pierre Dorion spoke to the situation surrounding the contract of Pinto.
Dorion noted that both sides are hoping to have a deal done by next Tuesday, which could provide a resolution by the end of the upcoming weekend. However, Dorion did acknowledge there still is a gap between the two parties, and that the team does need to move a contract of magnitude in order to keep Pinto in the fold for the 2023-24 season. Dorion said, “We’re working on that one (Pinto), hard. We’d like to see him next week when we open camp“.
Whatever the outcome is for this ordeal, it’s important to point out that the Ottawa organization should be uniquely busy this weekend, unlike most teams during this time of the year. As things currently stand, the Senators have approximately $895K in cap space, and will likely need to free up around $900K-$1MM to sign Pinto comfortably. Whether it comes through a small deal, or even some roster manipulation by Dorion, a solution should be arranged by early next week.