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Libor Hajek

John Davidson's years as a goaltender and broadcaster for the Rangers made him a natural fit for their president vacancy. But beyond his connections to the franchise, Davidson comes with the experience of rebuilding franchises in St. Louis and Columbus as the Rangers go through a remodeling of their own.

No situation is the same, but as Davidson embarks on the next chapter of his career, it's worth examining the moves he made at his previous two stops to help bring the Blues back to prominence and give the Blue Jackets their first taste of sustained competitiveness.

ST. LOUIS

Tags: Anthony DeAngelo, Filip Chytil, Henrik Lundqvist, Kevin Shattenkirk, Lias Andersson, Libor Hajek
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Mar 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Nate Thompson (21) controls the puck against New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Nate Thompson (21) controls the puck against New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Rangers led after the first period but were undone by Joel Armia, who scored a hat trick for Montreal in the Blueshirts' 4-2 home loss Friday night. Defenseman Libor Hajek played 17:35 in his NHL debut. He had two shots and took a holding-the-stick penalty in the second period.

Brendan Lemieux, who was acquired on Monday when the Rangers traded Kevin Hayes to Winnipeg, scored his first goal as a Ranger with 2:32 left. >> Box score

 


First period:

  • 4:41 NYR Vladislav Namestnikov; Assists: Brady Skjei, Kevin Shattenkirk
Tags: Libor Hajek, Montreal Canadiens, Vladislav Namestnikov
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Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Libor Hajek's coach in the WHL, John Paddock, said that he is close to being NHL ready, could compete for a roster spot next season and also has the ability to be a "top-four defenseman in the league for a long-time." (Newsday & NY Post)

Paddock describes Hajek, a left hand shot, as "low maintenance" and is a "real good, solid, all-around player who does a lot of things well." (NYRangers.com)

He added that Hajek was like a "sponge' and always doing extra work and talking to coaches about how to become a better player. (NYRangers.com)

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Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

While speaking with the media, Rangers prospect Libor Hajek said that he will do everything to make the Rangers out of training camp this year and adds "I believe I will make it this year. That is my goal." (NYR)

Hajek said that he is feeling strong, healthy and believes in himself and his game. (NYR)

He described himself as a two-way defenseman that can make a good first pass, join the rush, shoot, pass and score some goals. (NYR)

Hajek said that he will stay in the NY area this summer to train and that his focus will be on getting stronger and preparing for training camp and the chance to play in the NHL. (NYR)

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Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Rangers prospect Libor Hajek helped his Regina Pats team advance to the Final of the Memorial Cup.

Hajek was acquired by the Rangers as part of the Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller trade.

On the season, split between Regina and Saskatchewan, Hajek played in 58 games, had 12 goals, 27 assists, a minus five rating and 144 shots on goal.

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Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Rangers assistant GM Chris Drury said that the organization's priorities moving forward are to add "young, competitive players with speed and skill and 'a premium on high character.'"

When Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather wrote a letter to the fans announcing that the team was intending to sell at the deadline, they said that their focus was going to be "adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character."

When Gorton and Sather met with the media following the release of the letter, Gorton said "we want fast players, character players, guys we can build our team around. That is what we will be looking for."

Tags: Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren
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Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 19, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Libor Hajek (43) pressures Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (37) during the third period of a hockey game at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

At and around the trading deadline, the Rangers adding the following prospects:

  • Ryan Lindgren, Yegor Rykov, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek

In The Hockey News Yearbook over the summer, Lindgren was ranked as the Bruins 4th prospect and they wrote "Makes up for a lack of size with passion. He's likely to turn pro after sophomore season."

In The Hockey News Yearbook over the summer, Hajek was ranked as Tampa Bay's 3rd prospect, saying "a smart defender who doesn't force plays on the rush. His skating has improve."

In The Hockey News Yearbook over the summer, Howden was ranked as Tampa Bay's 7th prospect, saying "Captain got pro taste with eight AHL games late last season. A 200ft player."

Tags: Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, Yegor Rykov
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