NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2023

by | Oct 27, 2023 | Rumors | 20 comments

What happens next for the Senators and Shane Pinto following his 41-game suspension? Could the Panthers and Blue Jackets become trade partners? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Pinto won’t sign his contract until January once his suspension is served. This will also give the Senators more time to swing a trade to free up cap space to sign him. LeBrun also stated that the investigation had nothing to do with why Pinto hadn’t been signed yet by the Senators.

Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto (NHL Images).

Darren Dreger indicated that the NHL Players Association negotiated the 41-game suspension. They recognized that league commissioner Gary Bettman could hit Pinto with a much harsher punishment.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports that it’s believed the Senators were close on a two-year contract for Shane Pinto prior to his 41-game suspension on Thursday for activities that violated the NHL’s wagering rules. The deal would’ve paid the 22-year-old center an average annual value of $2 million.

When informed of the investigation, the Senators were told to rescind any contract offers to Pinto’s agent. Garrioch expects that Pinto will sign his one-year qualifying offer to get the contract out of the way while he’s serving his suspension.

THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes believes the trade winds that were circulating around Senators forwards Mathieu Joseph and Dominik Kubalik will ease in the wake of Pinto’s suspension.

The earliest the young center can return to action is Jan. 21, which buys general manager Pierre Dorion time to determine a proper cost-cutting trade candidate.

This situation could also work to Dorion’s advantage in his negotiations with the Pinto camp. Mendes wondered if the latter would still attempt to get a little bit of security in his contract or accept a one-year deal at a lesser rate and try again next summer. He’s not assuming that Pinto and his agent will accept the one-year qualifying offer of $874, 125.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This situation could also prompt speculation of the Senators attempting to trade Pinto once he’s served his suspension given all that’s transpired. Reports out of Ottawa in recent weeks claimed that they don’t want to move him and the club issued a statement following his suspension that they’ll welcome him back with open arms.

Still, we can’t dismiss the possibility of Doirion peddling Pinto starting in January, though I daresay this suspension could hurt his value in the trade market. 


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy noted that the Columbus Blue Jackets have been attempting to trade a defenseman for weeks now. It’s believed right-shot blueliners Erik Gudbranson, Adam Boqvist and Andrew Peeke are available.

Murphy indicated that the Florida Panthers are interested in upgrading their blueline though they’ll be squeezed for salary-cap space once defenseman Aaron Ekblad comes off long-term injury reserve. A source told Murphy that the Panthers and Dallas Stars have an interest in Boqvist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have only used just over $1 million of their LTIR cap space. They have room to add Boqvist’s $2.6 million cap hit but they’ll have to shed salary to make room for Ekblad when he returns in January.

They could prefer instead waiting until close to the March 8 trade deadline to boost their defense corps. There could be more affordable options available by that time plus they’ll have accrued some cap space by then.


  1. I have no doubt Peeke and Boqvist are both available but am quite skeptical that Gudbranson is either available or a primary trade target for many teams given the cap hit & term remaining. While many CBJ fans were very critical of the 4×4 deal he received he has provided exactly the physical presence & vet leadership they were seeking. He’s a great example of a player whose value to CBJ is likely greater than it would be to almost any other team. At some point a couple of F also have to be available (Roslovic for one…who has been a pleasant surprise since moving to W) it will be interesting to see who ultimately gets moved.

  2. I see Pinto getting traded to Vegas in exchange for the rights to 1% of MGM annual casino intake 🙂

  3. Dorian and the Sens in CYA mode. It seems obvious that they knew of a potential suspension to Pinto and that is why he hasn’t been signed yet. This knowledge could have extended way back to the Tarasenko signing! 🤔

    • Johnny that might very accurate as it is now out there that the NHL was watching activity on his betting account as far back as June. Secure your phone people. Sounds like they know it wasn’t him betting on hockey but someone with his account details must have been given the severity of the suspension. In the current societal realm of everyone needing to know everything this story will continue to bubble until A. we all know everything, or B. something juicier comes along.

    • Wrong, Johnny. Read Pierre LeBrun’s comments in the TSN link I provided. The earliest the Senators knew about the investigation was at the start of training camp. However, there was no indication he was facing a suspension at that time.

      • I still think Dorion had wind of this in early July. Why sign Tarasenko on the 27th of July and handcuff himself cap-wise and take all that heat on Pinto if he did not know? I don’t believe he is that stupid.

  4. Man what heckling Dorion would have taken if he made a trade to gain the cap room to sign Pinto. Sign Pinto only to have this happen.

    Or if this drags out till November’s deadline.

    Which brings one question to mind.

    Perhaps you know Lyle .

    F Pj to signed in January is he eligible to play playoff games? Do they need this contract signed sooner to have him as an option come playoff time?

    Assuming they even make it.

    • Jeff: The RFA deadline for signing Pinto won’t apply in this case because of the suspension. If they sign him in January, he’ll be eligible to play the entire season, including the playoffs if the Senators get that far.

      • “The RFA deadline for signing Pinto won’t apply in this case because of the suspension.”

        According to Friedman, the fact that Pinto was not eligible for an offer sheet (he is a 10.2(c) RFA, not a “regular” RFA), there is no Dec 1st deadline to sign.

  5. Columbus Blue Jackets Trade partners
    Vancouver look like the team that really need a Good RD/man🤔
    One of the CBJ 3 RD-man for weeks now.
    one of these 3 are avalable

    I/Erik Gudbranson,
    2/Adam Boqvist ✔️
    3/Andrew Peeke are available.

    I dont think they want Gudbranson back in Vancouver… they want to go younger and better,
    its between Peeke & Boqvist,
    I wouild say they young Sweed Boqvist 23 yr old has a lot of up side and the Canucks could use his offencive skills on the
    d-core he is a RFA with 2 more years at $2.6M

    Trade for RW/LW Conor Garland at $4.95M
    The Canucks would have to sweeten the pot & put in a 3rd pick❓ I think to get this deal done
    Blue jackets have $4.M in Cap space it would help both teams out

    • Willie, I agree that CBJ-VAN make logical trade partners but CBJ’s primary need is C and have a surplus of W. It’s possible that they are looking for a vet W with Garland’s skill set but IMHO I wouldn’t say it’s likely. They could really benefit from another legit top-6 C (who couldn’t…right?) but Friedman and Seravilli have recently mentioned they are still shopping for a C.

      • Hey Deacon,

        CBJ, They have Lots of Centres just now..,🤔
        Looks like they will keep Adam Fantaili up for the year and play him 2nd & 3rd like to development

        1/ Boone Jenner’s salary is $3,750,000 the Captain.
        2/ Jack Roslovic’s salary is $4,000,000
        3/ Top Rookie centre from the 2023 draft
        Adam Fantaili
        The also have 3 other players that can play centre..

        Sean Kuraly’s salary is $3,250,000
        Alexandre Texier’s salary is $1,750,000
        Cole Sillinger’s salary is $925,000

        They do need a top six winger like Garlend who can play both wings LW/RW Garland would fit the bill..❓

  6. The NHL continues to be an absolute joke. Regardless of what Pinto did or didn’t do, the fact a player can serve a suspension without being under contract is ludicrous.

    • No, simply means that, regardless of what transpires -signing, trade, whatever – he can’t play in the NHL in any of the first 41 games of this season.

      • Yeah because his trade value is massive right now lol

    • Hey Willie, They have lots of players that can play at C but not true difference makers at C. Fantilli is the real deal and exactly what they need. Jenner has been great playing there but there is some discussion CBJ would prefer to shift him back to W and use him less frequently at C. Sillinger is still developing and has a bright future but they are being careful. Roslovic has been shfited to W and now started playing well….he has always been a serious defensive liability at C. Texier has been exclusively playing W. They have guys that can play C but few legit difference-makers so it appears that is the biggest priority if they actually are in “win now” mode which Jarmo keeps saying. Not saying Garland can’t end up w/ CBJ but W is definitely not a pressing need.

  7. It must be a players Assoc. thing . No contract , he is free and clear to play anywhere . Sign in the Swiss league ? Where is he going to play ?

    Chris Johnson said he didn’t gamble direct but through a third party
    About 5 months sounds logical for an investigation. However, what hockey was he betting on in June July ?

    • “About 5 months sounds logical for an investigation. However, what hockey was he betting on in June July ?”

      The investigation started in the summer, not the betting.

    • As a RESTRICTED free agent, so his rights belong to Ottawa. He can’t go and play wherever he wants because of that. He is property of the senators until he’s not contract or not.

      • Sens could loan him to a Euro team till signing.