Toronto's return in the trade, which came just after the NHL's free-agent signing period opened Wednesday, wasn't immediately clear. It reportedly included veteran forward Nick Spaling, prospects Kasperi Kapanen and Scott Harrington and a first-round draft pick.
TSN's Darren Dreger reported that the Leafs will also pay 15 per cent of Kessel's massive contract, which has seven years left on it at $8 million US per season.
Kessel had 25 goals and 36 assists for the Leafs last season. It was the first time he failed to reach the 30-goal plateau in a full season with the Maple Leafs.