Pacioretty's better; nobody in Canada cares

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Pacioretty's better; nobody in Canada cares

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

SCENE: The home of Max Pacioretty. I have no idea what it looks like, but let's assume that it's big.

Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne, sits across from Pacioretty in what I assume is a big living room.

DIONNE: Max, mon ami! Ca va? What are you doing out of bed?! I have some tres exciting news pour vouz!

PACIORETTY: Um. Okay.

DIONNE: First, a few gifts. Keanu Reeves sends you this gold-plated wheelchair as a sign of Canadian solidarity! Pans hand slowly over shiny wheelchair

PACIORETTY: Wow. That's, um... wow. I don't actually need a wheelchair, Louis. I'm feeling pretty good.

DIONNE: Please, please, call me Lord Dionne. And don't be silly! Somebody needs to dim these lights for you, oui? We don't want you to have one of those nasty Savard Seizures. Zut alors! Where is your body cast, Max? Sighs deeply Your second gift: Dan Ellis' butler, on loan to you until you can walk again. God willing.

BUTLER: Bonjour.

PACIORETTY: Ooooh, man. Okay. Listen. I appreciate the concern, but I can walk fine. I'm actually not having any concussion symptoms at all.

DIONNE: Nonsense! Canada needs to stay strong in the battle against American oppression and YOU are her leader.

PACIORETTY: ...I'm from Connecticut.

DIONNE: Maintenant: Your third gift. HAC's -- Habitants Against Chara -- has made these shirts for you. Rips open black robe to reveal t-shirt

PACIORETTY: Reads "Die, Chara, Die"... ?

DIONNE: DEATH TO THE GIANT! To be so tall is ridicule! Begins foaming at the mouth HE MUST PAY FOR BEING SO LARGE.

PACIORETTY: Whoa, whoa. I don't want Chara to die. I was pissed, but this is getting crazy. How are the fans angrier than I am? I'm the one who got hurt. And I'm probably going to play hockey in 4-6 weeks.

DIONNE: REGARDEZ! Violently unfurls poster

PACIORETTY: Omigod! Is that a severed head? Dry heaves

DIONNE: Very Frenchly Ho-ho-ho! Poor Pacioretty! Look how he barfs! He is tres, tres ill! Dan Ellis' butler: Tend to him! He must lead the charge on America in The Glorious Golden Wheelchair of Keanu ce soir!

BUTLER: Whispers Vous tes un sale, salit l'homme.

PACIORETTY: I told you, I'm not Canadian! I don't speak French for Christ's sake! What the hell did he say to me?

DIONNE: I must go, but consider what I said to you today, young Max. It would be a great thing to be Canada's martyr.
PACIORETTY: Don't martyrs die? When did we stop talking about hockey?

BUTLER: Snickers

Dionne leaves, big black robe wooshing around his legs. Dan Ellis' butler pulls out a 40 and starts drinking. Pacioretty picks up the DIE CHARA! shirt.

PACIORETTY: I'll give it to my mom.

Felger: Bottom's always up with Bruins

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Felger: Bottom's always up with Bruins

Peter Chiarelli may be long gone from Causeway Street, but his spirit lives on. 

If someone can explain to me the Bruins' fascination with bottom-of-the-roster veterans with average talent, then I'd love to hear it. I used to think it was the problem of Chiarelli, the B's former general manager. But now I have to wonder if it's just in the water down there. And current GM Don Sweeney is chugging it.

I have no other explanation for the team's decision to sign defenseman Kevan Miller to a four-year (four!) extension worth $10 million yesterday. Miller is a nice role piece. But how that translates to four guaranteed years when he will turn 29 early next season and the Bruins have massive holes throughout their roster is beyond me. 

What's more, the B's already have nearly the identical player in Adam McQuaid, who is roughly the same age, same size, same shot (right), same injury history (poor) and plays the same role (bottom pairing, right side). McQuaid is a little less skilled than Miller, so of course, using Bruins logic, he makes a little more ($2.75 million). But McQuaid also got four years when he re-signed prior to last season.

Certainly, contracts worth $2-3 million annually aren't going to ruin your cap in a vacuum. But start adding them up you see how the Bruins got into trouble in the first place. Combine McQuaid and Miller's hits and you have $5.25 million of valuable space chewed up against the cap. Basically, that's the price of a solid, top-4 defenseman, which the Bruins need ten times more than a depth piece.

Scary. The Bruins currently don't have a No. 1 or a No. 2 defensemen. (Sorry, Bruins writers, Zdeno Chara belongs on a second pairing right now.) Yet they have decided to lock themselves up with a pair of No. 6 guys who basically duplicate each other. Again, why do the B's continue to overpay the bottom of the depth chart when the top is so lousy?

It's one thing for Chiarelli to overcommit to the likes of Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley, Dan Paille, Greg Campbell, Dennis Seidenberg, etc. Those guys at least helped you win a Cup and get to another final. From an emotional standpoint, you can explain those mistakes. But Miller? He's been a part of one of the worst defense corps in the league the last few years. He's been on a team that has failed to make the playoffs two consecutive seasons. How do you fall in love with that guy?

Please don't tell me that Miller would have gotten that contract on the open market. I mean, it's true; he probably would have. But what does that matter? Does that mean it's a good deal? Just because Colorado was willing to pay Carl Soderberg just under $5 million a season, does that mean the B's should have paid the middling centerman that money last year? Of course not. Use your head. Just because someone else gets stupid doesn't mean you have to.

You shudder to think what's coming next. Loui Eriksson is still out there as a pending free agent. Ditto for Torey Krug. On a good team, the former is a third liner and the latter is another third-pairing guy. Neither have been good enough to lift the B's above the playoff line the last two years despite playing prominent roles. Both are about to get overpaid on the market . . . unless the B's step in first and insist on being the team that gets stupid and overcommits first.

Given what we've seen with Miller, how can anyone be confident that the B's will be smart enough to pass? My confidence level on this is somewhere around 0.0.

Which is exactly how much cap space the B's will have left with this approach.

Email Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m. on 98.5 FM. The simulcast runs daily on CSN. 

Bill "Spaceman" Lee is running for governor in Vermont

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Bill "Spaceman" Lee is running for governor in Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A former Major League Baseball player is running for governor in Vermont as a member of the Liberty Union party, which bills itself as nonviolent and socialist.

Bill "Spaceman" Lee tells WCAX-TV voters will "need umbrellas" if he's elected, because "it's going to be raining dollars," referring to money trickling down from the wealthy.

Lee pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1969 to 1978. He was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2008.

Lee says he's a "pragmatic, conservative, forward thinker." He supports legalizing marijuana, a single-payer health care system and paid family leave.

Carrabis: Do you trust Dombrowski to find relief help?

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Carrabis: Do you trust Dombrowski to find relief help?

Jared Carrabis joins Sports Tonight to discuss the news that Carson Smith will undergo Tommy John surgery, and whether he has faith that Dombrowski will be able to find bullpen help.