Brady Tkachuk sounds off on Shane Pinto's contract holdout.
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Brady Tkachuk sounds off on Shane Pinto's contract holdout.

The captain of the Ottawa Senators sounds off on the absence of his teammate in training camp.

Jonathan Larivee

The captain of the Ottawa Senators is speaking out on one of the big issues surrounding his team as they began training camp this week.

Much of the talk surrounding the Ottawa Senators over the last several weeks has surrounded the ongoing contract negotiations with restricted free agent forward Shane Pinto. Last week I covered reports that Pinto's contract demands could force a trade, and just yesterday I also covered a rumor that suggested rival teams were looking to take advantage of the situation in Ottawa.

The one thing that is certain on the Pinto front at this time is that the young forward is not in training camp with the rest of his teammates, a situation that is less than ideal for both Pinto and the Senators. Something will have to give however with the Senators having just roughly $900,000 in available cap space and Pinto reportedly seeking a contract that would carry an average annual value and cap hit of over $2.1 million per season.

If there's any blame to go around however it sounds like most fans are laying that at the feet of general manager Pierre Dorion who has put himself in this position, and it sounds like the players may be in a similar boat. Over the weekend, Senators captain Brady Tkachuk commented on the difficult situation and made it clear that he was fully behind his teammate on this matter.

"He knows we have his back, and, once he does get back, that he’ll be ready to go and thrown right into the fire," said Tkachuk as per the Ottawa Sun. "Hopefully, it gets done soon, but the big message is that we have his back no matter what."

If there are any fans in Ottawa that were holding a grudge against Pinto in regards to his contract demands, words like this from one of the most popular figures on the team may be enough to sway them.