Senators, Shane Pinto 'aren't close' on a new deal.
Frank Gunn/Canadian Press  

Senators, Shane Pinto 'aren't close' on a new deal.

A bad sign for the Ottawa Senators only a few weeks removed from the start of NHL training camps.

Jonathan Larivee

It seems the Ottawa Senators may have a bit of a problem on their hands.

In a recent article for the Ottawa Sun, Senators insider Bruce Garrioch has revealed that the team currently finds itself at an impasse with restricted free agent Shane Pinto. According to Garrioch, although there is hope a deal will get done, Pinto and the Senators are still quite far apart on the terms of a new contract for the 22 year old forward.

From Garrioch:

A restricted free agent, Pinto has to be signed before camp, but the indications are the two sides aren’t close, but the hope is a deal will be done soon.

Pinto proved to be an important player for the Ottawa Senators last season, averaging nearly 16 minutes (15:59) of ice time per game on his way to recording 20 goals and adding 15 assists for a total of 35 points in 82 games. Senators head coach DJ Smith recently admitted that he was very excited about his depth up the middle this season, something that is now in jeopardy due to Pinto still not having an NHL contract.

"The biggest thing I’ve always been excited about here is those three centres and I’ve never had the opportunity to use them all," said Smith. "We had a few games with all of them two years ago and a few with all of them last season."

Unfortunately for the Senators' head coach, unless general manager Pierre Dorion finds a way to squeeze this deal in within the next several days, he may have to wait a while longer.