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Pens' RFA: Kennedy, Bortuzzo, Jeffrey & Harry Z

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Kennedy, Jeffrey, Bortuzzo and Harry Z will all get qualifying offers.

Shero keeping Kennedy, Jeffrey

Monday, 24 June 2013 22:40 Written by Dave Molinari


Tyler Kennedy still has a place with the Penguins.

Dustin Jeffrey, too.

Both are scheduled to reach restricted free agency July 5, but general manager Ray Shero says he plans to extend qualifying offers to both before the July 2 deadline.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and newly acquired left winger Harry Zolnierczyk will each get one, as well.

"I don't see us not qualifying anybody, at this point," Shero said Monday.

By giving those players qualifying offers, the Penguins retain the right to match any offer they would receive from another team.

The minimum qualifying offers for the players in question would be: Kennedy, $2 million; Jeffrey, $687,500; Zolnierczyk, $660,000; and Bortuzzo, $577,500.

It is no surprise that the Penguins intend to qualify Bortuzzo, because he has the potential to develop into a shutdown defenseman at this level. Qualifying Zolnierczyk was predictable, too, since he's only been part of the organization for a matter of hours since being acquired from Anaheim for minor-league defenseman Alex Grant.

Kennedy, though, seemed far from certain to be brought back, primarily because the Penguins have limited salary-cap space.

Two years ago, he was given a two-year, $4 million contract that suggested the Penguins believed he could fill a top-six role. He has consistently been most effective in a blue-collar niche, however.

Kennedy had six goals and five assists in 46 regular-season games, then added two goals and three assists in nine playoff appearances.

Jeffrey, meanwhile, appears to be out of favor with coach Dan Bylsma most of the time, despite his ability to play all three forward positions and to fill almost any role up front.

He had three goals and three assists in 24 games during the regular season and did not dress for any of the Penguins' 15 playoff games.

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