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Shane Pinto’s contract file: the Sens will have trouble re-signing him

Not everyone in the field hockey world agrees that it’s high time the Ottawa Senators had a good season.

For many seasons now, we’ve been waiting for the Senators to show us on the ice that their rebuilding is truly complete.

Yet, time and time again, they disappoint and fail to live up to expectations.

The team’s general manager, Pierre Dorion, may have made some good acquisitions and signings, but there always seems to be something missing from this team.

The problem was mostly in front of the net for the Sens, and I’m still skeptical about their situation in front of the net with Joonas Korpisalo for five seasons at $4 million a year.

In short, it’s clear that next season will be all the more decisive for the Sens’ future.

They need results, and they need them fast.

The team looks pretty good on paper, but there’s clearly still room for doubt, especially considering that Shane Pinto is still not under contract.

The Sens’ attack isn’t the one with the most depth, so Pinto’s signing is important.

The 22-year-old forward had a respectable first full NHL season, with 20 goals and 35 points in 82 games.

Those aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but the 20-goal plateau remains an important one in today’s NHL.

A scorer of 20 goals or more has to be paid for.

But not with $896,953. That number is the current space under the Ottawa Senators’ salary cap.

Yes, yes, the Sens are tied to the ceiling.

The signings of Vladimir Tarasenko, Dominik Kubalik, Joonas Korpisalo and Zack MacEwen take up payroll space, leaving the Sens with too little money to contract Pinto.

The Sens’ NHL entry-level contract has expired, so he clearly deserves a pay raise.

The problem is that the Sens currently don’t even have enough money to sign Pinto at the same salary as his entry-level contract, i.e. 925,000.

Pierre Dorion will have to find a way to free up payroll if he wants to offer Pinto a contract.

But that won’t be easy, given that every player on the Sens’ current payroll is part of the plan and has a purpose.

No player stands out as the logical choice to sell in order to sign Pinto.

It will be interesting to see how Dorion manages to sign Pinto, who could pocket around $2 million on his next contract.

Backup goaltender Anton Forsberg could be sacrificed, given his $2.75m salary.

In a gust

– Really great.

– A prospect to watch for the 2025 draft.

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– The Blue Jays are out of the playoffs as of today.

– A case that remains to be followed.

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