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Rangers don’t give qualifying offers to restricted free agents Pirri, Clendening and Skapski

Brandon Pirri #73 of the New York Rangers

Brandon Pirri #73 of the New York Rangers celebrates his first-period goal against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Restricted free agents Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening and Mackenzie Skapski were not presented qualifying offers by the Rangers by Sunday’s deadline and are free to sign elsewhere.

General manager Jeff Gorton already has spoken with representatives for the team’s two top RFAs — Mika Zibanejad and Jesper Fast — and indicated Saturday in Chicago that he hopes to agree on contracts with both.

The only other Ranger who was given a qualifying offer was forward Nicklas Jensen, the team confirmed. The 24-year-old had 32 goals and 55 points in 70 games last season for a Hartford Wolf Pack team that finished near the bottom of the AHL. Jensen, who is Danish, will get a long look at training camp.

After playing for Chicago and two other teams, Pirri, 26, started well in his first season in New York but did not produce enough afterward, particularly on the power play. Between center and left wing, Pirri finished with eight goals and 10 assists in 60 games.

The Rangers were the fifth team since 2014 for Clendening, 24, a righthanded defenseman with some promise. He had two goals and nine assists in only 31 games as Rangers coach Alain Vig neault opted to play his veterans.

Skapski, 23, won his NHL goaltending debut at 20, recording 24 saves in a 3-1 win in Buffalo on Feb. 20, 2015, and becoming the third-youngest goalie in franchise history to earn a win in his NHL debut. He shut out the Sabres, 2-0, on March 14 in his second career start. He was 18-11-0 for Greenville of the ECHL last season.

Defensemen Troy Donnay (three goals and 14 assists in 61 games for Greenville), and Michael Paliotta (one goal and 13 assists in 51 games in Hartford last season), also were not given qualifying offers.


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