Brendan Smith cleared waivers Friday and the Rangers assigned the struggling defenseman to AHL Hartford. The Rangers placed Smith on waivers Thursday amid a stunningly disappointing season after last season's trade-deadline acquisition was one of the team's most effective players in the postseason. Smith last summer was a pending unrestricted free agent but shortly before free agency officially opened he returned to the Rangers on a four-year, $17.4 million contract. Neal Pionk, 22, was called up Thursday and will make his NHL debut tonight against the Flames. The Rangers on Friday also called up defenseman John Gilmour from Hartford. The 24-year-old played in the AHL All-Star Classic.