Rangers waive defenseman Brendan Smith on 29th birthday

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) controls the puck as New York Rangers' Brendan Smith (42) defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Bruins won 6-1. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Mary Altaffer

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers have waived defenseman Brendan Smith, less than eight months after re-signing him to a four-year, $17 million contract.

The move Thursday came on Smith's 29th birthday. He has one goal and seven assists in 44 games this season. He was acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline last year and totaled three goals and six assists in 51 games with the Red Wings and Rangers

Smith, a left-handed shooter, has 17 goals and 62 assists over 353 career games spanning parts of seven seasons.

New York has lost 11 of its last 15 games and began the day in last place in the tight Metropolitan Division, three points behind Columbus and the crosstown Islanders for the last wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is out indefinitely while recovering from knee surgery Jan. 22.

New York recalled defenseman Neal Pionk from Hartford of the AHL, where he has one goal and 16 assists in 48 games.

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