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Shane Pinto and Egor Sokolov are the two remaining Senators RFA’s without a contract. It is all but guaranteed that both will be returning to the team, but at what cost/term? While Sokolov is likely to get a 1 or 2-year deal, Pinto’s contract is less predictable. In this article, I will be looking at whether or not the Senators should extend Pinto long-term and at what price.
Pintos’ 2022/2023 Season Stats
Before discussing what monetary value Shane Pinto holds, we must first look back on his season with the Sens. Pinto finished his rookie year with 20 goals and 15 assists for 35 points in 82 games. It was a respectable rookie season from Pinto, but nothing that the Sens should be breaking the bank for. Pinto was much better in a third-line role with the Sens compared to the top 6. The injury to Josh Norris elevated Pinto to a position he was not ready for.
Before moving to the top 6, Pinto was one of, if not the best rookie in the opening month of the season. I have included an excerpt from another article below explaining his overall success on the third line.
What Opportunity Is There For Pinto With The Ottawa Senators
One of the biggest questions for me when thinking about a Shane Pinto contract is what his future is with the team. If Pinto wants to become a top 6 centre in the NHL, he will be competing against Norris and Stützle on the Sens, neither of which he will likely surpass. In terms of a contract, the Sens can’t overpay for a guy who will likely be stuck on their third line.
What Could Pinto Be In The Future
Shane Pinto has NHL top-6 potential. While he may not play in the top 6 in Ottawa because of the depth charts, he could provide some high-end third-line production. Pinto is also a highly-effective two-way player, he could be a great matchup against a team’s number one or number two centre in the future. This would allow Norris and Stützle to have better matchups on offence.
If Pinto fulfills his potential and plays a third-line role on the Sens, I could see him being a 25-30 goal scorer and a 50-60 points scorer. I am also guessing Pinto will be playing on the team’s power play where he could score plenty of goals as the trigger man in the bumper position.
What Should a Shane Pinto Contract Look Like
There are a couple of schools of thought with a Shane Pinto contract. The Senators could probably get Pinto at a lower AAV if they do a 1 or 2-year deal. But if the Senators are looking to buy a little bit lower on Pinto in the future, they could pay a higher AAV with a longer term. Below I have included a list of salaries and terms that I would be interested in giving Pinto:
1-2 Years $2-2.5 Million AAV
3-4 Years $2.5-4 Million AAV
5+ Years $4-5 Million AAV
Of these options, I would be interested in locking Pinto up for as long as possible. As a player, I would be surprised if he would be willing to commit to a long-term contract given he still has plenty to show at the NHL level.
The pros to a short-term deal are that the team would still likely be able to afford an additional top 6 option (assuming the AAV is roughly as projected). But I believe it would be in the best interest of the Ottawa Senators to commit to Pinto for as long as possible if the AAV is reasonable.
What will happen with Shane Pinto remains a mystery. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, we will get an answer to his short/long-term future with the Ottawa Senators.