The biggest-name Ottawa Senator who remains an unsigned restricted free agent is undoubtedly center Shane Pinto, though he’s not alone in that status. Forward Egor Sokolov is also without a contract for next season, although that isn’t anticipated to impact his ability to participate in the team’s training camp.
Sokolov was officially named to the club’s training camp roster today, while Pinto was not. And according to Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch, the expectation is that even if Sokolov doesn’t have a deal in place, he’ll still report to training camp tomorrow. Garrioch adds that Sokolov’s camp and the Senator have “continued to talk” on finalizing a new contract. It’s an extremely important preseason for Sokolov, who will be in a battle for an NHL job in Ottawa. He’s waivers-eligible for the first time in his career, and after scoring 109 points across the last two AHL campaigns it’s clear this is a make-or-break training camp for Sokolov’s NHL dreams in Ottawa.
Some other notes regarding the Senators:
- Garrioch relayed an update from a radio appearance by Senators GM Pierre Dorion today, regarding the status of Pinto. Dorion said he has gone “back and forth with Pinto’s camp this morning ” negotiating an extension, but although he “wants to get a deal done as quickly as possible” he can’t actually put a timeline on when that would happen. It’s possible that the Senators are staring down the prospect of an extended absence for Pinto, something that would be a significant loss for the club. The Senators are desperate to finally escape their rebuild and make the playoffs, but have been prone to slow starts to seasons under head coach D.J. Smith. Being without a strong two-way center who scored 20 goals last season would certainly not help matters.
- Incoming Senators owner Michael Andlauer told the media today at the Senators Foundation golf tournament that he hopes his purchase of the Senators will officially close by the end of the week. The Senators’ sale process has been a long process, but now it appears that the sale is finally reaching a conclusion, assuming Andlauer’s hopes become reality.