Another thing that tends to get overlooked is that for Esposito to get Michel Bergeron to coach the Rangers, they had to surrender the 5th overall pick of the 1988 draft. The Nords ended up drafting Daniel Dore, who was a major, major bust. But chances are, the Rangerd would have drafted a forward.
The 1st five forwards taken after Dore -- Scott Pearson, Martin Gelinas, Jeremy Roenick, Rod Brind'amour and Teemu Selanne
Espo also traded Walt Poddubny (RIP) after seasons of 40 and 38 goals for Jason Lafreniere, Jari Gronstrand and Normand Rochefort.
Man, he was trash
Kind of a bummer but yeah, they got lucky Dore didn't become a star. Karma would be fair to the Rangers though as the influx of young talent that came in after Esposito left was like none other (Weight, Amonte, King, all the Russians, Zameuner, Aaron Miller, Marchant, Norstrom, etc) And that 5th rounder that the Rangers got as compensation for letting Guy LaFleur go to the Nordiques turned into Zubov.
The thing with trading Poddubny though was Espo actually did it at the right time because Walt's knees were starting to go. He had one more excellent season with Quebec and then could barely play without being in pain during his stint with the Devils. It's pretty much the same thing as Vinny Prospal this season.
I always wondered why Sator was let go. Never realized the players hated him, but did Ruotsolainan go to Edmonton for a few seasons? Thought he was on their Cup teams in 88 and 90?
Basically Sator came in to the Rangers in 1985-86 and dramatically changed the team; he sent four guys (Rogers, Fotiu, Hanlon, and LaRouche) to the minors. Plus his assistants were college coaches so between all this the veteran players held a grudge. He also got on Mark Pavelich hard for not playing dump and chase and for not dressing nice enough off the ice (this has all been documented by Rick Carpinello on Rangers Report and on various Blueshirt Underground Radio Segments). The players all united at the end of 1985-86 season and got hot and agreed to work with Sator, but by the next season, they tuned him out.
Reijo was close with Pavelich and stayed the season but went "on strike" the next year and stayed in Europe. His rights were traded to the Oilers VERY late in the 1867-87 season. The NHL adapted a new rule saying you need to play X amount of games to be playoff eligible after this, which is why Strudwick couldn't play in the playoffs when he came back late in 2007 after spending most of that season in Switzerland.