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Report: Senators RFA Pinto leaves Ottawa to return home


After spending the past few days with the team, Ottawa Senators restricted free agent Shane Pinto has left town, Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports.

Garrioch reports the unsigned forward cited too much attention being on him in Ottawa and wants to focus on training as he returns home. The 22-year-old centre is a native of Franklin Square, NY.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported Thursday that general manager Pierre Dorion has continued to hold discussions on Mathieu Joseph and also discussed trading defenceman Erik Brannstrom as the Senators search for the cap space to re-sign Pinto.

Dreger noted earlier this week that cap space is the only thing standing between the two sides getting pen to paper.

"Both the Pinto camp and Sens are trying to find a resolution," Dreger wrote on X. "There’s no stalemate, this is purely a cap issue"

Pinto is the highest-profile unsigned restricted free agent remaining in the league after the Anaheim Ducks signed Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale to three-year deals last week.

He recorded 20 goals and 35 points in 82 games last season, his first full year in the NHL. He appeared in just five games in 2021-22 due to a shoulder injury. 

Pinto was selected by the Senators at the top of the second round in the 2019 draft.

According to CapFriendly, the Senators have just $62,620 in cap space while carrying a roster of just 20 players.

Ottawa has more than $5 million in dead cap this season after retaining salary on Matt Murray and their previous buyouts of Bobby Ryan, Colin White, and Michael Del Zotto.