The NHL issued its first-ever suspension for gambling on Thursday when Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto was issued a 41-game gambling suspension.
It is tied for the longest suspension in NHL history, excluding lifetime suspensions. Defenseman Raffi Torres was suspended for 41 games in 2015 for repeated dirty hits throughout his career.
The NFL has had multiple gambling suspensions over the past few years, but this was the first in any of the NBA, MLB, or NHL.
News of the suspension led to plenty of reactions across social media.
One fan was quick to point out the hypocrisy between the NHL having partnerships with multiple gambling companies but suspending Pinto for gambling on a sport the league’s investigation deemed to not be hockey. “Shane Pinto has been suspended 41 games for activities related to sports wagering. Hopefully he at least used BetWay™, official helmet sponsor of the Ottawa Senators,” the fan posted.
Shane Pinto has been suspended 41 games for activities related to sports wagering. Hopefully he at least used BetWay™, official helmet sponsor of the Ottawa Senators. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/6xhHyFWsDL
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) October 26, 2023
Another fan made a point about how the suspension was longer than previous suspensions for on-ice violence. “Todd Bertuzzi suspension for a sucker punch that ended a career and resulted in criminal charges: 20 games Shane Pinto suspension for sports betting: 41 games,” they posted.
Todd Bertuzzi suspension for a sucker punch that ended a career and resulted in criminal charges: 20 games
Shane Pinto suspension for sports betting: 41 games pic.twitter.com/7I21LI26oM
— nucko (@nucksmemes) October 26, 2023
TSN’s Darren Dreger pointed out that Pinto agreed to his suspension, and had he not, it would have been much longer. That’s interesting to note in future NHL gambling suspension cases.
An entire Insider Trading segment on the Shane Pinto suspension. I talk about the NHLPA’s role in the outcome. Important to note if Pinto didn’t agree to a resolution he would have faced a more severe discipline under article 18-A of the CBA for off-ice conduct. https://t.co/fdZXvB8Eaa
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 26, 2023
Freelance hockey reporter Graeme Nichols made an important point, as well. Pinto is just 22 and made a mistake. It shouldn’t be held against him forever, instead being a teachable moment.
Shane Pinto's a 22-year-old who made a mistake gambling. A mistake that we don't even know the slightest extent of. Burying the kid like he's got some kind of fatal character flaw is such a joke. This is a teachable moment. He can redeem himself and help this team.
— Graeme Nichols (@GraemeNichols) October 27, 2023