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The National Hockey League (NHL) has suspended unsigned Ottawa Senators centre, Shane Pinto, for 41 games due to a violation of league gambling rules. Although the official announcement came after noon ET on Thursday, the league investigation had been ongoing for some time. In this article, we delve into the details of the suspension, the league’s stance on gambling, and Shane Pinto’s response.

The Suspension

The NHL’s decision to suspend Shane Pinto for 41 games was a result of activities related to sports wagering. Importantly, the league did not accuse Pinto of betting on NHL games. This distinction is crucial, as the NHL strictly prohibits wagering on any of its games, even if legal. Such activity is considered “dishonourable, prejudicial to, or against the welfare of the League or the game of hockey.” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has the authority to impose various penalties for gambling violations, including expulsion, suspension, contract cancellation, or fines.

Shane Pinto’s Response

Shane Pinto, upon learning of his suspension, issued a public apology through the Ottawa Senators. In his statement, Pinto expressed remorse and took full responsibility for his actions. He extended his apologies to the NHL, the Ottawa Senators, his teammates, fans, the city of Ottawa, and, most importantly, his family. Pinto also conveyed his eagerness to return to the ice with his team.

The Investigation

While the exact timeline of the investigation remains unclear, it is believed to have begun during the summer and intensified in recent weeks. All negotiations related to Shane Pinto’s contract were put on hold while the NHL conducted a hearing on the matter. The results of this investigation were shared with the Ottawa Senators.

Senators’ Response

In response to the suspension, the Ottawa Senators released a statement expressing support for Shane Pinto while emphasizing their commitment to the NHL’s anti-gambling rules. The statement characterizes Shane as a valued member of the team, acknowledging that he made poor decisions leading to his suspension. The Senators expressed their understanding of Pinto’s remorse and their commitment to providing the necessary support to help him address his issues and eventually contribute positively to the community. The organization intends to welcome him back once the league permits it.

Similar Cases in Sports

This incident highlights the significance of adhering to the strict anti-gambling policies in professional sports. Notably, other sports leagues have also taken similar actions against players who violated gambling rules. For instance, in June, an NFL player was suspended for placing a legal bet at the team’s facility, which was not allowed under NFL regulations.

Future Implications

As the situation continues to develop, it remains to be seen how the Senators will handle the matter. Shane Pinto’s decision not to request a trade is attributed, in part, to the organization’s discretion regarding the investigation. The future for Pinto and the Ottawa Senators will depend on the outcome of this suspension and the steps taken by both parties.


Shane Pinto’s suspension for violating NHL gambling rules serves as a reminder of the strict policies in professional sports. While the specific details of his actions remain undisclosed, the impact on his career and the Ottawa Senators is significant. The response from the NHL and the Senators underlines the importance of upholding the integrity of the game. The development of this situation will be closely monitored, and its implications for both Shane Pinto and the Ottawa Senators are yet to be fully determined.