New York Post

Ex-Rangers get Swiss reunion


Brandon Pirri’s status as a Ranger went from being an important fourth-line and power-play piece of the team’s potent, diversifie­d attack over the season’s first five weeks to a spot on the taxi squad during the playoffs.

Now, after failing to receive a qualifying offer from the Blueshirts and credible interest around the NHL as a free agent, the 26-year-old forward is going to Switzerlan­d for 2017-18 and join one-time New York teammate Kevin Klein with the ZSC Lions.

It is conceivabl­e that Pirri — whose shoot-first mentality has produced 57 goals in 226 career games with the Blackhawks, Panthers, Ducks and Rangers — could sign with an NHL club at the conclusion of his year in Europe. The Ontario native also would have to be considered a candidate to play for Team Canada in the 2018 Olympics.

Signed as a free agent last summer to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million, Pirri provided a distinct early-season boost to the offense as the Blueshirts bolted to a 13-4 start through Nov. 15 while scoring 72 goals (4.2 per game) that included 57 at even strength, 13 on the power play and two while shorthande­d.

Deficient away from the puck, in his own end and in his one-on-one compete level, Pirri faded quickly.

He was on the ice for only 13 even-strength goals and 10 power-play goals over his final 43 games in going minus-14 and completed the season with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 60 games. Pirri was scratched 20 times in a 29game span starting in early February until he dressed for the final three matches.

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