Former Rangers Headline Stanley Cup Final

(Photo: Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo: Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports)

At the 2014 Trade Deadline, New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather traded away the heart and soul of his team, also his captain, for a grizzled veteran who would ultimately play a huge role in the Rangers’ run to the Cup a season ago.

That player was Ryan Callahan, and the trade took many by surprise, and left fans gutted. They weren’t gutted when they saw their team make it all the way to the final round with acquisition Martin St. Louis leading the way.

After the Rangers lost in five games to the Los Angeles Kings, defenseman Anton Stralman walked away from the team, along with fourth line forward Brian Boyle. Two tough blows to a team coming off a Cup Final loss.

Many were left wondering if the Rangers would have the ability to fill in the voids left by those players. Tanner Glass was brought in but he did not help much during the 2014-15 regular season. James Sheppard was acquired at this year’s deadline, which brought some stability to the fourth line.

Now the tables have turned drastically. New York suffered a seven game loss to the Lightning. To make things worse, all three former Rangers celebrated a Final berth on Madison Square Garden ice.

Brad Richards (Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)

Brad Richards (Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle carved a path of their own, and will now have the opportunity to hoist the greatest trophy in sports.

It obviously stings to even ponder the thought of those players lifting the trophy, but if it happens, it is what it is, and there is absolutely nothing we can do to change that.

The Chicago Blackhawks will put up a good fight, they have a tremendous amount of experience and will be going for their third championship in six years, so they know how to win at this level.

Brad Richards who was bought out at the end of last season is also back in the Final. Dan Carcillo is also back with the Blackhawks too. If the Tampa Rangers don’t hoist it, the Chicago Rangers will.

The Lightning boast an enormous amount of talent and speed, but they are a very young team, will they accomplish their goal on hockey’s biggest stage?

Fans should have no hard feelings toward Callahan, Stralman, and Boyle. They all played their heart out while in New York and had huge roles within the lineup.

The unfortunate thing about sports is that things change, players leave for better places, and so be it.

It was thought that the Rangers got the better end of the Callahan-St. Louis deal, but now with Marty on the brink of retirement, I think we know who won that swap.

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