Restricted free agent could leave North America after failing to earn a spot on an NHL roster

Published October 10, 2023 at 3:12 PM

As the National Hockey League's 2023-24 season approaches, there are still two restricted free agents that are still unsigned - Shane Pinto (Ottawa) and Tim Berni (Columbus).

At this rate, it seems unlikely that either Pinto or Berni will be on their respective team's opening night roster and ready to go for the first game of the season, but things could change.

Tim Berni's situation with the Columbus Blue Jackets is a bit different than Shane Pinto. Berni was invited to Blue Jackets training camp on a professional tryout contract, which would allow him to be a full participant in practices and preseason games, while negotiating a new contract. However, Berni was released from his PTO on Thursday and according to Aaron Portzline, he is considering returning to Switzerland for the 2023-24 season.

"Hearing that #CBJ D Tim Berni is considering a return home to play in Switzerland this season.

Berni, an unsigned restricted free agent, came to camp with Columbus on a tryout agreement to keep his options open. He was released from that PTO on Thursday." Portzline said.

The Blue Jackets issued Tim Berni a qualifying offer back in late-June and according to CapFriendly, if he returns to Europe, he'll remain on the team's reserve list and they'll hold his rights until 2027.

"Because #CBJ qualified him back in June, if Berni were to return home to play in Europe he would remain on the club's reserve list and Columbus would hold on to his signing rights until he became eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2027." CapFriendly said.

Berni, 23, made his National Hockey League debut last season with Columbus and went on to appear in 59 games for them, putting up three points (one goal, two assists), 34 penalty minutes and was a minus-26.

October 10   |   2 answers
Restricted free agent could leave North America after failing to earn a spot on an NHL roster

Where do you think Berni will play the majority of his games this season?

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