Taking dumb penalties and fighting needlessly hurts your team, Bertuzzi did something stupid and it's not a fair comparison to Kesler who provides team toughness when we're lacking that and Bert, who himself admitted it was sheer stupidity. But Kesler fights to stick up for his teammates against a guy willing and able to defend himself, he hits hard and often, that's the kind of play you still need to win, especially come playoff time.
And like I said, no one here thinks Kesler is worth $1.9 million, but that wasn't the issue on the table. Clarke's offer was matched out of principle so that Clarke wouldn't get away with the deal, the goal being that this would reduce the incentive for other GM's to go after each other's RFA's if they thought they wouldn't get them anyway, it's a long-standing principle in the NHL which might not hold up with the cap anymore, but still, has so far been the principle the league has followed.
I'm not sure what your point is about Linden and Park, they're both third/fourth-liners who demanded less, and Linden got less than Carter, Park didn't get anything at all. Seriously, if Linden demanded $1 million or so we would have offered him retirement. But if Linden did score 30 plus goals, yes, we probably would have offered him at least what we offered Carter and probably more, but that would have nothing to do with his skin but more to do with the intangibles Linden brings, leadership, character, mentoring to younger players, face-off ability, playoff experience, defensive play and penalty-killing...he's getting paid $600-800k right now for that, if he scores 30 goals this year, yes, he'll get a raise.