Gary Bettman Addresses Senators’ Owner Criticism and Shane Pinto’s Suspension

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 03: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media during a press conference prior to Game One of the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on June 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Gary Bettman refrained from engaging in a verbal exchange with Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer on Thursday night.

Speaking at the Avicii Arena before the Senators-Red Wings Global Series game, Bettman responded for the first time to Andlauer’s criticism regarding a forfeited first-round pick due to a nullified trade involving Evgenii Dadonov in March 2022.

Two weeks earlier, Andlauer expressed frustration over the prolonged process, questioning why it took a year since the hearing for a decision.

Bettman avoided a public debate, stating it wouldn’t be constructive, and expressed comfort with the decision.

He suggested that, with time, Andlauer might become more at ease with the handling of the situation.

Notably, Bettman left the possibility open for an appeal by Andlauer and the Senators, drawing parallels with the NHL reducing penalties in the past.

The circumstances surrounding Shane Pinto’s 41-game suspension for gambling-related activities were also addressed.

Bettman emphasized the lack of betting on NHL hockey but hinted at inappropriate involvement in sports betting.

The commissioner acknowledged the significance of Pinto’s suspension and highlighted the need for common sense in sports betting practices.

Lastly, Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly discussed Pinto’s 41-game suspension despite being an unsigned free agent.

Daly clarified that Pinto isn’t earning a salary during the suspension, and Bettman justified the unique situation by citing circumstances that required a non-traditional approach.

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