If EA's NHL2K3 is any indication, no price is too great for the mighty Federov
ESPN's The Season did a two-parter on the Red Wings this past year. At one point they focussed on Federov's "slump" and how he believed that more ice time was the answer.
The show seemed to express the general idea of, "if he's not playing well, why put him on the ice more?" Having played with guys who are that much better than everyone else, I say it would have probably been the right thing to do. But when you've also got to give time to other stars like Shanahan, Hull, Yzerman (when he's not injured), Robitaille, etc., it becomes harder to justify.
I think Federov needs to play for a team that can guarantee him 23-26 minutes a night. A team that needs offense. A team like, oh, say, San Jose. Hell, they might even be able to afford him...
I'm not sure how you can call the Kessel deal a 'disaster' given that Kessel has been a very good player and goal-scorer for the Leafs. The problem was that Burke did very little to actually put a good team around Kessel.