Insider Drops Surprising Shane Pinto Rumor

Suspended forward Shane Pinto is ever closer to a return to the Ottawa Senators. He’s just three weeks away from re-joining the team officially on January 21st, and he now, as of Sunday, even has his own stall back in the team locker room. He’s allowed to start practicing with the team 10 days before that first game.

But perhaps an even bigger development is on the horizon, according to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. 

I would expect that he’s gonna sign his qualifying offer this year prorated, however, I have heard, unconfirmed by team and agent, that they have, since the GM change, they have talked about a longer term deal. He is definitely part of the (Senators) core. 

I had heard some rumours about Pinto potentially being out and that the team wanted to move on, but I was told in several places, and no uncertain terms that they were planning to keep him and consider him a big part of the group.

With this surprising talk about a potential long-term deal, after all the haggling over the summer about even getting him signed for this year, Friedman added that he’s certainly getting a vibe, under the new Senators management, to “expect the unexpected.”

Pinto, who had a breakthrough season with 20 goals in his first full year with the club in 2022-23, was left mysteriously unsigned throughout the summer as a restricted free agent. He then was slapped with a 41 game suspension by the NHL for gambling back in October. He’s now served 32 of those 41 games, and it appears that the 23-year-old is back in the team’s good graces, and could certainly be an Ottawa Senator for a long time to come, according to Friedmans’s report.

The Sens are currently 14-18 this season and in last place in the Atlantic Division. 

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