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Rangers to Jason Arnott: No deal

St. Louis Blues forward Jason Arnott (44) passes

St. Louis Blues forward Jason Arnott (44) passes the puck as the Nashville Predators' Francis Bouillon watches during the second period of a game in St. Louis. (March 27, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Veteran center Jason Arnott, who had agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Rangers on Saturday pending a physical, was not cleared by team doctors, and the 38-year-old remains a free agent.

“We will not be proceeding with this deal,’’ a team spokesman said, adding, “there were some concerns” after a physical, but would not provide specifics.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Arnott was 17-17-34 in 72 games for the Blues last season, but missed six games last February with a left shoulder injury and two playoff games with a knee problem. He had knee surgery in June. The Flyers, who signed free agent Mike Knuble on Friday, and the Canucks were among the teams who had expressed interest in Arnott.

Wade Arnott, the center’s brother and agent, did not return requests for comment.

On Saturday night, after TSN had first reported the one-year deal worth about $1.6 million, Rangers coach John Tortorella was asked about the possibility of landing Arnott and said he had no comment, noting that the organization “had discussions on a number of different players.”

In 18 seasons, Arnott had 417 goals and 521 assists in 1,244 games with Edmonton, New Jersey, Dallas, Nashville, Washington and St. Louis.

The Rangers are definitely interested in forward depth, and will likely turn elsewhere, possibly to center Daymond Langkow, 36, a free agent who spent last season in Phoenix and scored 11 goals and 30 points in 73 games.

During the first five games, the Rangers (2-3) have auditioned three forwards from their AHL affiliate in Hartford: Brandon Segal, Kris Newbury and on Saturday against the Leafs, deployed Benn Ferriero, who was acquired from Pittsburgh on Thursday in a trade for Chad Kolarik. Defenseman Stu Bickel also has been used as a right wing on the fourth line.

Tags: Rangers , Jason Arnott , John Tortorella

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