Franklin Square’s Shane Pinto scores first goal since return from suspension


Long Island’s Shane Pinto was suspended 41 games by the NHL for sports gambling.

The league said the half-season ban was for “activities relating to sports wagering” and that its investigation found no evidence Pinto bet on NHL games.

Pinto, 23, had 20 goals and 15 assists in 82 games for the Senators last season. The league’s investigation found no evidence that Pinto bet on NHL games and provided few details, and Pinto has not disclosed specifics in recent interviews. He was the first modern-era NHL player to be suspended for sports gambling.

The Franklin Square native apologized, and did no appeal the league’s punishment.

“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,” Pinto said in a statement released by the team. “I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team.”

The Senators in 2021 became the first team to add a gambling-related entity as a helmet sponsor with Bet99. Their home helmets now bear the logo of Betway, an international gambling company.

“You see it on the commercials now,” Pinto said. “It’s pretty evident. But that’s no excuse, I think. I’ve got to be more cautious and just more mature in what I’m doing, and I’ve got to realize what position I’m in. There’s always going to be a microscope on professional athletes.”

Pinto said he feels like he let his teammates down and is ready to turn the page on this chapter of his career. He hadn’t played an NHL game since April 13.

“It’s been a tough couple months here, and I know I’ve been a distraction towards (the team), so I kind of feel bad about that,” Pinto said. “I just want to really focus on hockey here and put this all behind me. It was definitely a learning lesson for me, and I just want to make good of it and try to get the trust back from the boys and all the fans.”

On Sunday, the 23-year-old Ottawa Senators center made his return to action, notching an assist in his team’s 5-3 victory over the Flyers. He had this to say following the game:

The momentum spilled over to the next game against the Canadiens, with Pinto finding the back of the net in his second game back.

His teammates are jacked to see him back in the lineup — and producing, of course.

“The boys were pretty fired up,” Ottawa forward Ridly Greig told of Pinto’s goal. “I think (Pinto) said he blacked out a little bit when he scored, so it was unreal to see him score that one.”

Reporting with the Associated Press

Top: Ottawa Senators’ Shane Pinto in action during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

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