The salary cap next season will be $83.5 million. With this money, each general manager must try to assemble the most successful team possible. That’s pretty basic in this salary cap era. Theoretically, you get the same budget as everyone else, and you have to find a way to maximize every dollar invested.
In an article published earlier today on The Athletic, Ian Mendes, who covers the Senators for the site, answered a reader’s question about the status of Shane Pinto’s contract negotiations.
What’s up with Shane Pinto’s contract?
Is DND really a potential site for a new arena?
Who should be put into the Sens Ring of Honour?
You asked, I answered.
It’s the first instalment of an August mailbag.
– Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) August 21, 2023
Pinto is a 22-year-old center who was selected 32nd overall in the 2019 draft. At the end of the 2020-2021 season, he was a finalist for the title of best college player in the United States, the famous Hobey-Baker Trophy. He didn’t win it, because a certain Cole Caufield did.
Above all, he’s a very complete forward who plays extremely well defensively. In Ottawa, we see him as a third-trio center, potentially one of the best in the league in the future.
I know I’m praising him a lot, but he’s that good.
But Pierre Dorion just can’t get along with him right now. Why can’t he?
Because he doesn’t even have $900,000 available under the cap and, above all, he’s spending a lot of money on guys who aren’t even wearing his club’s jersey.
During the rebuild, as the journalist so aptly puts it, it didn’t bother too much to have money misused like that. The goal wasn’t to win yet, but now it’s starting to stink. The Senators must show signs of improvement now or Dorion will be visiting the unemployment office sooner rather than later.
He can’t afford to waste money that will block him when he wants to take the next step in his plan.
We’re crossing our fingers that he’ll have learned from Shane Pinto and the Senators, because it could happen to him one day.
With his 35 points last season, it certainly wouldn’t take a huge offer to get him to sign a deal with another team and pin Pierre Dorion down even more.
For $2.1 million, you’d get him back and the compensation would only be a small third-round pick.
To do so, they’d have to find a way to free up space on their roster quickly, and with only 18 players under contract, I don’t see how they could do it, at least through a trade.
For Montreal, that means finding a new team for Jake Evans. We like him here, but with a salary of $1.7 million, he’d be hard to trade with his injury history.
It’s definitely a missed opportunity for an upgrade.