Booth or Grabo ?
Position aside I still take Booth.
For our purposes certainly. For Toronto, I'd say Grabo since they need to establish their top two C's long-term.
Remember some scoffed at Booth's contract being fair in light of the way the market is going?
$4.25M isn't chump change for a 2nd line winger, which is still about 250K less than the established watermark of $4.5M last summer with deals given to the likes of Fleischmann, Leino and Laich.
The contracts Grabo, Ruttu and Hemsky have signed has taken that up to $5M at least.
Given the consistency of Booth's 20 goal years, compared to Ruttu, Fleisch and Leino, I think it's more than fair to say Booth has both higher upside and is a more proven commodity as a top 6 winger. I don't see a scenario where a player like Booth signs for a penny less than $5M if he was heading towards UFA.
At the time Booth was added, the $4.25M contract was seen as a hefty deal, and it's not cheap, but Gillis balked at paying lesser players similar money in the summer, and being a former agent, his projections likely told him he'd have to spend upwards of $5M per year to sign a player comparable to Booth in free agency this upcoming summer.
The more you look at the Booth deal, the better it looks. Gillis didn't give up any appreciable assets to get him, and he got a player on an affordable contract relative to the market and his other options to add a similar player.