This has to be painful... As a professional athlete, one of your goals is to make a difference on your team and help your club reach the postseason. The New York Rangers have struggled this season, and may miss out on the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
Rangers management has already hinted at a new plan of action in which they could become big sellers at the upcoming trade deadline to enter a rebuild mode, but other moves have already been set in motion and one tough took place today.
Let's just say: business has taken over, and no feelings were involved in the transaction. The Rangers placed defenseman Brendan Smith on waivers today, despite the fact that he just signed a hefty four-year deal in the summer. Smith was probably heartbroken to hear the news... especially that today is his 29th birthday.
The Rangers recalled defenseman Neal Pionk from the AHL and then proceeded to waive Smith. The poor guy's special day has been ruined...
However, Smith could always be claimed before noon tomorrow as a few teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals are seeking help on the back end.
Still, the last year has been rough for the blue liner, who has recorded a goal and eight points in 44 games this season with New York. He was traded to the Rangers at last year's trade deadline for a third round pick in the 2017 draft (Zachary Gallant) and second round pick in the 2018 draft.
And now, his 29th year on the planet is starting off... a bit rocky, wouldn't you say?