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John Moore: New contract with Rangers is close

The Rangers' John Moore prepares to shoot during

The Rangers' John Moore prepares to shoot during team practice held in preparation of the NHL Stanley Cup Final at MSG Training Center on Monday, June 2, 2014. Credit: James Escher

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Defenseman John Moore, the last remaining Rangers restricted free agent, said Friday that he believed an agreement on a new contract was close and Moore expects to be in training camp "on Day 1."

"I'm really optimistic," said Moore, 23, who has been training in Chicago, his hometown, and spent the morning skating here in his first informal workout with about a dozen teammates.

"This week a lot of ground was made up," said Moore, who was acquired from Columbus in 2013 in the Marian Gaborik trade and had four goals and 11 assists while averaging 15:20 on ice per game. "Things started to pick up. Unless something really goes wrong, I'd be surprised if it's not done by training camp."

Moore, who concluded a three-year, entry-level deal worth $3.075 million, was given a qualifying offer and his agent and the Rangers are believed to be discussing a two-year contract. Moore's cap hit was $975,000 last season.

"I want to be here and I have faith in the Rangers," he said. "We're just trying to be fair."

The Rangers do not discuss ongoing negotiations.

With numerous free agents for the Rangers to re-sign (Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello) and without having arbitration rights, Moore said he didn't expect a quick resolution. "Going in, I knew this could be a waiting game," he said.

Asked if his appearance at the informal skates two weeks before camp was a good sign, Moore said: "I would be here anyway, but this was the happiest I've been all summer."

New York Sports