5. Bid Farewell To St. Louis and Boyle

Of all possible opponents for the Rangers to face in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Lightning brought the most to the table. Not because of their skill and talent, but because of who they’ve acquired the past season and a half.

Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman and ex-captain Ryan Callahan all came into the series as ex-Rangers, and all walked away with the Price of Whales trophy.

The worst part about it all was the fact that Dan Boyle and Martin St. Louis – the direct replacements for Stralman and Callahan – were a shell of their former selves all playoffs long.

While nobody is arguing the Callahan for St. Louis swap worked for at least one playoff run, from this point forward the Rangers will severely pay for this deal.

Callahan is making $5.8 million a season for the next five-seasons. St. Louis made $5.265 on the last year of his deal. Along the blueline, the 29-year old Stralman currently brings in $4.5 million a year for the following four-seasons, while the 38-year old Boyle received the same $4.5 million.

What Rangers fans experienced this series was quite possibly the difference in a Stanley Cup.

Does anybody think the Rangers wouldn’t have won the series if Stralman and Callahan were on the team instead of St. Louis and Boyle? It’s amazing.

Sure, Sather didn’t want to be locked up long term with both the Stralman and Callahan contracts, but perhaps he played it a little too safe in both those situations. If he had signed both guys, a strong case can be made that enough money would still be in the bank to bring back the unrestricted guys at the current time.

This is a real discussion because of the awful play we saw from St. Louis and Boyle. One goal from St. Louis all playoffs long doesn’t even tell the true story. Whichever line he was on stunk up the joint.

While Boyle, on the other hand, started to come on later in the Tampa series, he was by far their worst defenseman.

Sather needs to allow St. Louis to walk (unrestricted), and buy-out the last year of Boyle’s deal. This will remarkably clear up nearly $9 million for the Rangers two worst players.