Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto will be suspended for 41 games for violation of the league’s sports wagering rules, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.
Full details of the suspension are expected later Thursday.
This marks the first suspension for gambling in the NHL since the legalization of sports wagering via the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018, which opened the door to a flood of partnerships and sponsorship agreements between the league and sportsbooks. In 2021, the Ottawa Senators became the first NHL team to put a gambling advertisement on their helmets through a deal with Bet99.
The NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement states that “gambling on any NHL game is prohibited.” It’s a rule posted in every dressing room around the league. The NHL constitution, a document that details everything from club ownership rules to the powers of the commissioner, conveys similar information. Players and those working for a team or the league are allowed to bet on non-NHL events.
Given that it’s a suspension of 41 games, sources told ESPN that it’s thought Pinto, 22, did not bet on hockey.
Commissioner Gary Bettman is empowered by the CBA to impose discipline on any player for violating an off-ice league rule or a player guilty of conduct that’s “detrimental to the welfare of the league or the game of hockey.” The CBA spells out three forms of punishment for the commissioner: fining the player, canceling the player’s contract or expelling or suspending the player “for a definite or indefinite period.”
Pinto is currently without a contract with the Senators as a restricted free agent.