Shane Pinto Contract May Force Senators To Make Big Trade

The Ottawa Senators have been without Shane Pinto for the first half of the season, but as the team reaches the 42 game mark of the season, he is about to sign a contract and return to playing. This contract isn't as simple as many originally thought. The Senators have reportedly given Pinto multiple contract offers to choose from.

Bruce Garrioch reports that Pinto could sign his qualifying offer of a one-year, $874,000 AAV, or something longer like a two-year, four-year, five-year, or six-year deal. The longer the contract, the likelier the AAV will be higher, meaning the team will have to trade someone to clear space as the contract would start this season.

The Senators do not have a good record and it would take a lot for them to climb back into the playoff race this season. This should lead to the team selling, which may very well have to come early. The two top trade candidates at forward are Vladimir Tarasenko and Dominik Kubalik. Either should do the trick to create enough space for Pinto if he goes with the longest and highest AAV contract available to him.

Pinto had a strong rookie season and could very well build on that and give the Senators another talented young piece for a number of seasons. At 22 years old, he put up 20 goals and 35 points and had to play a good amount in the top-six. He should definitely be an option there again this season upon his return. Turning down big money is tough, but he could decide to bet on himself and sign a shorter deal with the Senators now in the hopes that he gets an even larger deal when the cap goes up.

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