Club supports player

Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto suspended for 41 games by the NHL over sports betting activities

Reading time 1:37 min

The NHL has decided to suspend Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto for 41 games over sports betting violations. This action makes Pinto (22) the first player in the NHL's modern era to receive a suspension for such an infraction.

The half-season suspension was announced on Thursday and, according to the league, is due exclusively to "activities related to sports wagering." It is important to note that the investigation found no evidence that Pinto had bet specifically on NHL matches.

The NHL's official statement noted that the matter is closed and that the organization will not provide any further details on the suspension. For his part, DJ Smith, coach of the Ottawa Senators, expressed his support for the player, stating that the team is ready to help Pinto and welcome him back as soon as his suspension is over.

DJ Smith

In a statement released by the team, Pinto said: I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team. I want to apologize to the National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators, my teammates, the fans and city of Ottawa and most importantly my family."

The player is currently an unsigned restricted free agent. His return to the ice, should he sign a contract, would only take place in the middle of this season.

The club supported Pinto in its statement: “Shane is a valued member of our hockey club; an engaging, intelligent young man who made poor decisions that have resulted in a suspension by the National Hockey League. We know he is remorseful for his mistakes. The Ottawa Senators fully support the NHL’s rules on gambling."

Pinto has now joined other US athletes who have faced suspensions for their involvement in betting. The NFL, for example, has already suspended ten players, the most notable case being that of receiver Calvin Ridley, who was banned for the entire 2022 season.

Although other major leagues such as the NBA and Major League Baseball haven't announced similar suspensions recently, the growing betting scene has become a source of concern for leagues, especially in the college sports scene.

Under the rules of the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement, it is expressly forbidden for players to bet on NHL matches, to the point where some teams even prohibit their employees from participating in fantasy leagues that involve money.

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