The summer of 2009 is when Leafs Nation finally began to believe that the Maple Leafs had a chance at the playoffs in 2009-2010. This is because the Leafs went crazy in the free agent market, signing Mike Komisarek, Jonas Gustavsson and Francois Beauchemin, while trading for Garnet Exelby.
Mike Komisarek was perhaps the most wanted free agent defenseman, after not re-signing with the Maple Leafs largest rivals, the Montreal Canadiens. He was big, strong and could lead a team far. However, after just 34 games with the Leafs and posting just four assists, he was told that he could not return to the ice until next season.
Jonas Gustavsson was wanted by many teams around the league, in fact, almost all of them. After many days of speculation, Gustavsson signed with the Leafs. He got off to a great start, but then became streaky. Towards the end of the season he was playing great, he even won seven starts in a row at one point.
Francois Beauchemin won a Stanley Cup in Anahiem when Brian Burke was their general manager. He contributed largely to the Ducks in entire time he was there, which made Burke want to sign him to his new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Garnet Exelby was a part of the trade that saw Pavel Kubina go to the Thrashers. Most Leafs fans were more excited to see Kubina gone than see Exelby in a Leafs uniform. Exelby had to fight for a top six job on the Leafs, and failed to do so. On many occasions he was a healthy scratch, as he only played 51 games in total and not one of the games he didn't play in was due to injury.
It turns out that after all of these signings, none of them really paid off as much as the Leafs had hoped.