The Deals Behind the Deals

Stephen Cannella has an interesting piece about the backdoor deals associated with the trade deadline moves.
Cannella mentions the Geoff Sanderson trade. Sanderson was sent to Vancouver from Columbus. Reports said that if Vancouver decided they were done with him this summer, Columbus agreed to re-acquire him via the waiver wire. Cannella says it’s even more of a done deal, with Vancouver agreeing to place Sanderson on waivers after the season.
You have to wonder if any of this is written down anywhere, though. Like what if Vancouver GM Brian Burke leaves Vancouver at the end of this season? Is the deal still on?
Apparently this kind of behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing is pretty common in Europe.
It makes me nervous.