Shane Pinto: Will The Ottawa Senators Really Trade Him?
The Senators have found themselves in quite a pickle when it comes to young center Shane Pinto. What the hell are the Senators going to do with Pinto? Are they really going to be forced to trade him because of cap issues? I’m not sure what the Sens will do, but giving up on Pinto doesn’t exactly seem like the greatest idea in the world.
Pinto, 22, showed some promising flashes during his first full year at the NHL level. In 82 games, Pinto posted 35 points while playing mostly third pair minutes. Yes, Pinto was a -22 but a lot of players in Ottawa were a negative as the team didn’t make the playoffs. The underlying metrics on Pinto were really promising.
The former 2nd round pick in 2019 still has some work to do to become a better offensive player. Still, posting 20 goals in sheltered minutes in your first year in the league is pretty damn good. Defensively, Pinto already looks the part. In reality, he’s the perfect third center to build around behind Tim Stützle and Josh Norris. The best teams in the NHL are strong down the middle so that three headed monster is something that Ottawa should want to build around.
The problem is Ottawa has kind of trapped itself. The Senators have approximately $895K in cap space. It’s going to take more than that to sign Pinto. A bridge deal shouldn’t cost them an arm and a leg but Pinto certainly deserves more than pennies. Ottawa probably needs to clear at least $1 million to get this deal done.
I’m sure the Sens would prefer to sign Pinto long term. Regardless, teams should absolutely be sending the Sens offers before they get a deal done. Frankly, I’m not sure why teams don’t do this more often. I’m not saying Pinto is the next Jason Robertson, but teams should have made things difficult for the Stars back then. If you’re a team with flexibility, now is the time to strike. This is a player that is on the rise and you may never get your hands on him again.
I know this is hindsight, but why rush to get a deal done with Vladimir Tarasenko knowing that you still needed to sign Pinto? Why agree to take back Dominik Kubalik in the Alex DeBrincat deal knowing that you still needed cash to sign Pinto? That may be an error that ends up costing Ottawa if they are forced to give up Pinto.