Rangers closing in on Libor Hajek contract ahead of training camp

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Training camp is less than a month away, but the Rangers still have one restricted free agent remaining.

Defenseman Libor Hajek’s camp has had ongoing conversations with Blueshirts general manager Chris Drury and a deal appears to be imminent, according to a source close to the situation. It is unclear what the terms will be, but Hajek is expected to sign a new contract sooner rather than later.

Hajek, who came to the Rangers in the 2018 trade that sent Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to the Lightning, would be heading into his fourth season in New York. After the team signed defensemen Jarred Tinordi and Patrick Nemeth in the offseason, however, it looks like it will be a challenge for Hajek to make the Opening Night roster.

Last season, Hajek recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in 44 of 56 games. The 23-year-old has primarily been relegated to third-pair minutes during his tenure with the Rangers and likely would’ve been scratched more often in 2020-21 if not for Tony DeAngelo’s exile and Jack Johnson’s season-ending core injury.

Libor Hajek skates with the Rangers.
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Since Monday, several Rangers players have organized informal workouts at the team’s training facility in Tarrytown as the start of training camp steadily approaches. Development camp is set to begin on Sept. 10, while the first on-ice day of training camp will be Sept. 23.

After making a slew of moves earlier this offseason, which included trading Pavel Buchnevich to the Blues and signing former Lightning forward Barclay Goodrow to a six-year deal, it remains to be seen if Drury has any more in the hopper.   

It’s possible management wants to get a good look at their current arsenal of players before making any further decisions.

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