The Ottawa Senators in theory have all the leverage in the Shane Pinto contract negotiations, but in spite of that fact there is still no deal for the 22 year old forward now just days away from the start of training camps in the National Hockey League.
Pinto, who scored 20 goals and added 15 assists for the Senators last season, established himself as a core part of their lineup when he appeared in all 82 regular season games and many are stunned that he remains unsigned. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like there's an easy fix here with Senators insider Bruce Garrioch reporting that Pinto has some sizeable contract demands that the Senators must deal with.
The indications are Pinto’s camp wants a deal that’s richer than the two-year, $4.2 million contract that centre Morgan Frost signed with the Flyers.
While those demands are relatively reasonable for a player with the role and production that Pinto established last season, the reality is that the Senators currently only have $900,000 in cap space to work with. The average annual value on a deal worth $4.2 million over 2 years would be $2.1 million, so you can see where the problem lies.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion now has two options, he either has to find a way to clear enough cap space to get Pinto's contract under the salary cap or he will have to move the young forward.
All indications are that the Senators would prefer not to move Pinto, but according to Garrioch both the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers have already reached out to the Senators in an effort to inquire about acquiring Pinto.
There's no telling which way this one will go just yet, but with training camp set to kick off this coming Thursday something has to give.