The NHL has suspended its first player of the post-PASPA error for violations of the league betting policy. However, the league says the suspended player, Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators, was not found to be betting on any NHL games.
The NHL served Pinto with a 41-game suspension, which amounts to half of a season on the bench.
“I want to apologize to the National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators, my teammates, the fans and city of Ottawa, and most importantly my family. I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team,” Pinto said in a statement.
Pinto was drafted by the Senators in 2019 but has yet to play for the team this season thanks to ongoing contract discussions. The team issued its own statement regarding Pinto’s suspensions:
“Shane is a valued member of our hockey club; an engaging, intelligent young man who made poor decisions that have resulted in a suspension by the National Hockey League. We know he is remorseful for his mistakes. The Ottawa Senators fully support the NHL’s rules on gambling. While saddened to learn of this issue, the entire organization remains committed to Shane and will work together to do what is necessary to help provide the support to allow him to address his issues and become a strong contributor to our community.”
Pinto will not be eligible to play with a team until January 2024.
The NHL offered little information on Pinto’s infractions beyond clarifying that he did not wager on the NHL. The league also specified that it would be offering no other comment on the matter.
However, the Ottawa Sun reported that sources from within the league said an integrity partner flagged a US betting account belonging to Pinto for unusual activity. NHL players are allowed to wager on other sports per league policy but are not allowed to wager on NHL hockey.
Given the severity of the suspension, many from around the sport and the gaming industry are questioning what exactly Pinto did to receive such a stringent punishment.