Pinto apologized for his actions saying, "I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team"
Ottawa Senators fans won’t see Shane Pinto on the ice for a few weeks.
The National Hockey League (NHL) announced on Thursday that Pinto, 22, has been banned for 41 games “for activities relating to sports wagering.”
The Ottawa Sun reported that Pinto had an online gambling account, which was flagged by a NHL partner because of “unusual activity.” While the NHL did not specify what led to the ban, the league said its investigators have not found any evidence that Pinto made any wagers on NHL games.
The NHL also said that it considers the “matter closed” after its investigation, “absent the emergence of new information and won’t comment further on the ban.
For his part, Pinto released his own statement apologizing for his actions to the NHL, the Ottawa Senators, his fellow teammates and his family.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team,” Pinto said.
His team, the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, also released a statement to the NHL saying that they were “made aware” of the NHL’s investigation and they received “additional information” after the investigation into Pinto was completed.
“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,” the team said. “We know he is remorseful for his mistakes.”
The team said it “fully supports the NHL’s rules on gambling” and will work with Pinto so he can return to playing with the team.
“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,” they continued.
“When the time is right and with the league’s blessing, we will welcome him back to the organization and embrace him as one of our own,” the team concluded their statement.
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Pinto’s 41-game ban is the first gambling-related suspension in the NHL since the legalization of sports wagering via the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018, which opened the door for teams to get sponsorships from sports wagering companies, according to ESPN.
The Ottawa Senators faced off against the New York Islanders on Thursday night, the same day that the ban was announced. The team is next scheduled to play against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. So far, this season, Pinto has scored 43 points in 99 games for the team, per ESPN.
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