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. I realize that JFJ left the cupboard about as bare as possible but the Leafs showed no improvement over Burke's four years and he got burned on almost every free agent signing he made.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
They got two big prospects and the #2 pick that turned out to be Seguin for a one dimensional player. Hamilton the Dman who they also got in the Kessel deal is supposed to be a star and Tyler Seguin who already is a better all aound player than Kessel isa.
Guys like Gagne, Brad Richards got picked. Bargain agreement or not, would they be allowed to play? Funny that I didn't see Bret Hull in there (might have missed him) who was a surefire to go play for Daddy's league iirc..