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Senators Offer Contract Option to Shane Pinto Prior to NHL Return

The Ottawa Senators are reportedly offering a few different contract options to Shane Pinto ahead of his NHL return on Sunday.

In a bid to bring center Shane Pinto back into the NHL lineup, the Ottawa Senators are actively engaged in contract negotiations with the young center. Pinto, who is completing a 41-game gambling suspension, is slated to make his season debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, pending the resolution of contract details.

According to a report by Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia during an intermission feature on TSN, the Senators have tabled multiple contract offers for the restricted free agent. While speculation is out there that Pinto might agree to a deal around the value of his qualifying offer at $874,000, Ottawa has presented various options, including two-year, four-year, five-year, and six-year terms.

Notably, there’s a possibility of a two-year bridge agreement, previously discussed before the suspension announcement, with a speculated value in the low $2 million range for the first season. This strategic move could help the Senators manage their salary cap effectively by front-loading more of the compensation into the second year.

Shane Pinto Ottawa Senators

However, longer-term agreements, though potentially more lucrative for Pinto, might pose challenges for Ottawa’s salary cap structure. Estimated values could reach around $5 million. If the two sides go this route, clearing cap space would become imperative.

The Senators Might Just Kick This Contract Can Down the Road With Pinto

The Senators likely want to restrict Pinto’s free agency control. They have through the 2027-28 campaign to do so. As such, the Senators face a critical decision in the coming days. A one-year deal emerges as the most logical compromise. This would preserve Pinto’s non-arbitration eligibility and allow both sides additional time to evaluate his role within the team.

Whatever it is the Senators decide to do, they’ll want to do it soon. He can’t jump into Sunday’s linup against the Flyers if terms aren’t finalized. And, if the Senators want to try and salvage this season, they’ll need to start winning games immediately.

Next: Senators Fall Short vs. Avalanche: Need More Determination

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