Ottawa Senators at Crossroads: Will They Sign or Trade Shane Pinto?

Hockey, NHL, Ottawa Senators

As the opening of training camp looms, the Ottawa Senators find themselves in a contract standoff with promising center Shane Pinto, raising questions about the team’s next move. With limited cap space, the Senators must decide whether to secure Pinto’s services or explore the trade market.

General Manager Pierre Dorion expressed his commitment to signing Pinto, emphasizing the team’s efforts to reach an agreement. Pinto, a 22-year-old restricted free agent (RFA), holds little leverage in negotiations. Lacking arbitration rights and insufficient games played for offer sheet eligibility, his options remain limited.

The Senators currently possess approximately $784,000 in cap space, a figure insufficient to accommodate Pinto’s new contract demands, especially following his impressive 20-goal rookie season. To create cap room for the budding star, Ottawa might consider trading or waiving a depth player from their bottom-six forward group. Additionally, they have yet to sign RFA forward Egor Sokolov, further complicating their cap situation.

Notably, Pinto’s agent has fielded inquiries from several teams interested in gauging the young center’s contract expectations. These inquiring teams were directed to Dorion, suggesting potential trade discussions. While the Senators reportedly view Pinto as a crucial asset on their third line, interest from rival franchises, including the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, adds an intriguing layer to this contract saga.

The Bruins have emerged as a potential destination for Pinto, with reports linking the center to Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy’s sources. The Bruins face the challenge of fortifying their center depth following the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Acquiring a young, promising center like Pinto could address this pressing need.

On the other hand, the rebuilding Flyers might envision Pinto as a valuable addition to their burgeoning core of centers, joining the ranks of Morgan Frost and Noah Cates. Rumors have circulated regarding a potential trade offer from the Flyers, which reportedly included Pinto and winger Mathieu Joseph as part of a salary dump proposal. However, this offer failed to gain significant traction.

While trade discussions involving Pinto persist, the Senators remain determined to secure the young center’s signature. As training camp inches closer, the hockey world watches with keen interest to see whether Ottawa can navigate its cap constraints and keep Shane Pinto in the fold.

The stakes are high for both the Senators and the young center, as his future with the team hangs in the balance. Whether through a new contract or a potential trade, the Shane Pinto saga adds an element of intrigue to the Senators’ preseason preparations.

As negotiations continue, hockey enthusiasts eagerly await the resolution of this contract standoff, which will undoubtedly impact the Senators’ upcoming season and the broader landscape of NHL trades and transactions.


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