Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto has been suspended 41 games for violating the NHL’s gambling rules, Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet reports. It is currently unclear if Pinto actually wagered on NHL games but the league has found enough evidence to hand down a lengthy suspension.
In his article, Friedman wrote that an investigation into Pinto gambling started sometime in the summer. Interestingly enough, Pinto and the Senators have been trying to get him signed to a new contract as he is currently a restricted free agent. Pinto has not played a game this season for Ottawa.
It is unclear whether this investigation has anything to do with the stalemate between the Senators and the team but if I had to take a guess, I would say it’s definitely possible.
Pinto is a player who is only 22. He scored a career-high 35 points last season with 20 of those points being goals.
The Ottawa Senators are going to be without Shane Pinto for a while.
A one-time 20-goal scorer and a player whose career high in points is 35 shouldn’t have had that much trouble getting a contract done. Now, we might have the answer to why it dragged on.
According to Frank Seravalli, this 41-game suspension by Pinto is the first suspension given out to a player related to gambling in history which is crazy when you think about it.
If you look at all the major sports leagues across the world, sports betting suspensions are getting more common as the activity gets more and more accessible.
The NHL itself has been promoting betting on their games to fans more the past few years almost always featuring an ad on ESPN and TNT broadcasts.
Evander Kane was in the spotlight for something similar to this back in 2021 but after an NHL investigation, the league found that there was no evidence that Kane participated in gambling activities.