Libor Hajek

Hajek Clears: Assigned To Harftord

Libor Hajek‘s sideline ordeal is over for the moment.  The Czech defenseman cleared waivers today, and has been reassigned to Hartford, where he’ll finally get the chance to play some hockey.  Stuck in the category of “not good enough to make the roster”, but “maybe good enough to be claimed”, he has spent the majority of the last three seasons watching the games, with only 49 games in the line-up over that period.

Part of perhaps the biggest trade that came in the aftermath of “the Letter”, Hajek was acquired from Tampa along with Brett Howden, a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick in excahnge for then captain Ryan McDonagh and forward JT Miller.  It was perhaps former GM Jeff Gorton’s worst result in a ledger that saw several much more successful moves.

In the past three seasons, Hajek has seen the likes of K’Andre Miller and Braden Schneider move past him on the depth chart, as well as the likes of veterans Jack Johnson, Patrick Nemeth and Brad Harpur take the opportunities that he could not win.  At camp this year he also got surpassed by Zac Jones, but stuck around perhaps out of an abundance of caution, following the trade departure of Nils Lundkvist and the loss of Jarred Tinordi to Chicago on waivers.

Even with a paucity of options, Hajek has still not been able to crack the line-up, and with yesterday’s addition of Niko Mikkola, there was perhaps a little greater tolerance of the potential loss on a potential waiver claim.

Hajek joins what is now a fairly crowded Wolf Pack roster, which includes NYR contracted blueliners Jones, Andy WelinskiTy Emberson and Brandon Scanlin, along with AHL contracted Zach Giuttari and Blake Hillman.

The left side is particularly crowded now with Jones, Robertson, Hajek, Scanlin and Hillman all vying for spots, and while Jones can play both sides, his combination with Emberson has been a strong partnership that the team may be unwilling to break up.

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