Shane Pinto, most recently of the Ottawa Senators, has been hit with a 41-game suspension for violating the National Hockey League’s gambling policy.
Pinto, who is unsigned, is believed to be the first player to violate the NHL’s policy.
The news was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger and confirmed by Pierre LeBrun. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also confirmed the news and wrote that Pinto’s suspension actually began at the start of the NHL season and is one of the reasons Pinto, 22, remains unsigned.
“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,” Friedman wrote. “All negotiations to sign him were paused as the NHL conducted a recent hearing into the matter.”
The NHL announced the suspension on Thursday.
In a short statement the NHL said:
“The National Hockey League announced today that it has suspended NHL Player Shane Pinto for 41 games for activities relating to sports wagering.
“The League’s investigation found no evidence that Pinto made any wagers on NHL games.
“The NHL considers this matter closed, absent the emergence of new information, and will have no further comment.”
The Senators are also expected to address the matter.
NHL gambling policy in place since March 2022
In March 2022, a month before the open, legal and regulated Ontario online sports betting market opened, the NHL sent out a memo to all league and club personnel — including players.
The memo said betting on any NHL game is “absolutely prohibited” and would be considered “conduct that is dishonourable, prejudicial to, or against the welfare of the League or the game of hockey” under the NHL’s constitution.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has the power to discipline individuals who have violated the league’s gambling policy. Those punishments can include:
- Expulsion or suspension a definite or indefinite period
- Cancelling any contract that such individual may have and/or
- Imposing a fine.
Pinto had 20 goals and 35 points in 82 games last season for the Senators. He entered the 2023-24 season as a restricted free agent.
The Senators are currently 3-3-0 this season.
More news as this story develops.