Senators sign Pinto to one-year, $775K contract ahead of return
The move comes ahead of Pinto becoming eligible to return on Sunday from his 41-game suspension for violating the league's gambling rules. Senators interim head coach Jacques Martin confirmed last week Pinto will play against the Philadelphia Flyers upon becoming eligible.
The league announced the suspension to Pinto for “activities related to sports wagering” in October, adding its adding its investigation found no evidence that Pinto made any wagers on NHL games. Pinto had previously missed the first games of the Senators season while unsigned.
Pinto spoke publicly on the suspension for the first time last week, admitting he was caught off-guard by it.
“It broke my heart," Pinto said. "Honestly, I care about this game so much. I put so much time and effort into it and just to kind of get it taken away from you for that long, it’s just tough to hear. You’re in shock at first.”
Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch reported the Senators had rescinded all previous contract offers to Pinto upon the suspension.
The 22-year-old centre scored 20 goals and tallied 35 points in 82 games last season, his first full campaign in the NHL.