New York Rangers sign RFA defenseman Libor Hajek to 1-year two-way deal

rangers sign libor hajek
Apr 25, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers is congratulated by teammates Libor Hajek #25 after the win over the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on April 25, 2021 in New York City.The New York Rangers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have signed restricted free agent defenseman Libor Hajek to a one-year deal worth $874,125. This was the Blueshirts qualifying offer. It is also a two-way contract with a minor’s salary of $70,000.

The team has yet to officially announce the deal.

Libor Hajek signs 1-year deal

Hajek, 23, is another left shot defenseman that’s had his ups and downs since joining the Rangers. He made his long awaited debut in the 2018-19 season and scored a beautiful goal in his five game stint. Unfortunately, that season was ended abruptly after a shoulder injury.

libor hajek contract
May 6, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek (25) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

He struggled the following season and scored five points in 28 games but had a -4 rating. This past year, he looked better defensively in spurts but seemed to lose the offensive side to his game. He managed just 2 goals and 2 assists in 44 contests, but had a +2 rating after being inserted permanently into the lineup in February.

The Rangers are loaded on the left side. Ryan Lindgren and K’Andre Miller are locked in the top two. The signing of Patrik Nemeth is the biggest indicator that Hajek is no longer in the Rangers plans.

Nils Lundkvist is expected to be penciled into the RD3 spot with fellow countryman Nemeth as his partner. The Rangers also signed rugged defender Jarred Tinordi as their 7th defenseman.

Hajek seems like a good candidate to be included in a trade. Even if it’s to a younger and upcoming team like the Red Wings or Coyotes for a draft pick.

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