NHL lets the Sens off the hook with Pinto suspension
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NHL lets the Sens off the hook with Pinto suspension

An absolutely ridiculous ruling from Gary Bettman today.



This just in, unsigned Ottawa Senators restricted free agent Shane Pinto has reportedly been suspended by the NHL for what some insiders are characterizing as "sports betting related activity."

Senators insider Bruce Garrioch reports that the suspension could be as much as 41 games.

From Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman:

The NHL will suspend unsigned Ottawa Senators centre Shane Pinto 41 games on Wednesday for violating league gambling rules, multiple sources told Sportsnet.

Critically, the league did not accuse of Pinto of wagering on NHL games, as a memo sent in March 2022 reminded all league and club personnel — including players — that wagering on any NHL game, even where legal, is “absolutely prohibited,” and will “constitute conduct that is dishonourable, prejudicial to, or against the welfare of the League or the game of hockey” under the NHL’s constitution.

The memo added that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is authorized to “discipline individuals determined to have engaged in improper gambling activities in any or all of the following respects:” expulsion or suspension a definite or indefinite period; cancelling any contract that such individual may have; and/or by imposing a fine. “The League will act swiftly and aggressively in penalizing any League or Club personnel determined to have engaged in acts in violation of the NHL Gambling Policy,” the policy states.

The exact timeline is unclear at this point, but it’s believed the investigation — which began sometime during the summer — intensified over the past few weeks. All negotiations to sign him were paused as the NHL conducted a recent hearing into the matter.

- Elliotte Friedman

Additionally, TSN insider Darren Dreger reports that the Senators have revoked all of their previous contract offers to Pinto's camp. He is still eligible to sign his $850,000 qualifying offer though and, in fact, may need to do so in order to fulfill his suspension... or does he?

Interestingly enough, Friedman now reports that the suspension actually started with the Senators' first game of the season and that Pinto does not need to have a contract to fulfill the NHL's suspsension.

To me, that's not a suspension at all. This changes literally nothing. 

It really seems more and more that the NHL is just making things up day to day. What a joke of a league.

Stay tuned, more to come on this developing story.

Source: Elliotte Friedman