Horton all smiles at Bruins' practice

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Horton all smiles at Bruins' practice

WILMINGTON, Mass. It can be nothing but a good sign that Bruins power forward Nathan Horton was spotted wearing his trademark gleaming grin while walking out of the Bs dressing room following Thursdays morning skate.

He looked happy, relatively healthy and upbeat while saying hello as he walked out of the TD Garden after checking in with the teams medical staff.

But it hasnt changed Hortons prognosis while attempting to recover from a mild concussion suffered during a Jan. 22 win over the Flyers in Philly. Horton has now missed 16 games and close to six weeks of the regular season after bearing the brunt of a Tom Sestito blindside hit, and is still far away from a return to the ice.

Sestito was given no penalty or supplemental discipline on a play thats knocked one of the Bs best forwards out of the lineup with his second concussion within an eight-month span.
A source close to Horton indicated on Thursday that there is still a ways to go before the Bs right wing will be cleared for skating, practicing or playing and hes out indefinitely.

The Bruins acquired Brian Rolston at the deadline as needed forward depth with both Horton and Rich Peverley out of the lineup for the majority of the regular season, but theyve struggled mightily with five shutout losses among the 16 games without Horton.

It may be that Horton and the Bruins have determined to sit Horton out until closer to the end of the season to give him the best possible chance for a healthy run during the playoffs, and multiple sources have indicated that the right wing will definitely be returning at some point this year.

So currently Marc Savard, Horton and Johnny Boychuk are all missing action with the after-effects of head injuries, and only Boychuk appears on the verge of returning to the Boston lineup.

Webber, Massimino among the Hall of Fame finalists

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Webber, Massimino among the Hall of Fame finalists

NEW ORLEANS - Chris Webber and Rollie Massimino are one step from the Hall of Fame.

The career 20-point-per-game NBA scorer and the coach who led Villanova to a stunning upset of Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA championship game were among the 14 finalists unveiled Saturday for this year's Basketball Hall of Fame induction class.

Webber played 15 seasons with five franchises, plus was part of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" group that headlined college basketball in the early 1990s.

"I don't know what I'm most proud of," said Webber, who averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in his career and was a five-time NBA All-Star. "I'm proud to be in the room with all these great individuals."

Other first-time Hall of Fame finalists include longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans, Connecticut women's star Rebecca Lobo, two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, five-time All-Star Sidney Moncrief, Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, Kansas coach Bill Self, and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

"I still can't believe I'm here," McGrady said. "This is not even a dream come true."

Previous finalists returning to the ballot include star point guard and Olympic gold medalist Tim Hardaway, winningest all-time boys high school coach Robert Hughes, Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw, former Wisconsin coach and four-time Division III national champion Bo Ryan and 10-time AAU women's national champion team Wayland Baptist University.

"We are grateful to the 14 finalists in the Class of 2017 for the impact they have had on the game we cherish," Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "To be named a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible accomplishment."

Inductees will be announced at the Final Four on April 3. Enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts are scheduled for Sept. 7-9.

Massimino, now an 82-year-old cancer survivor who is still coaching at NAIA school Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a finalist for the first time. His Hall of Fame hopes have been backed by plenty of current and former coaches in recent months - including current Villanova coach Jay Wright, who presented Massimino with a championship ring from the Wildcats' 2016 NCAA title.

"Some days, we do take him for granted," Keiser guard Andrija Sarenac said. "But then you see him on TV so much, you see all these videos made about him, the movies about Villanova and everything, and it just hits you. You realize that he's a legend. I mean, your coach is a walking legend. With the energy and everything he comes in with, it's inspiring."

Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be enshrined. Among this year's candidates who did not make the finalist group: Muggsy Bogues, Ben Wallace, Kevin Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Price, Lefty Driesell and Eddie Sutton.

Former New York Times sports writer Harvey Araton and former Turner Sports broadcaster Craig Sager will be recognized during Hall of Fame weekend as this year's Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.

"A tremendous honor," said Sager's wife Stacy.

This year's lifetime achievement award recipients are former UConn coach Donald "Dee" Rowe and Michael Goldberg, who spent nearly four decades as executive director of the NBA Coaches Association. Goldberg died earlier this year.

"He bridged the gap between ownership and coaches," said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry, who spoke about Goldberg on Saturday while wearing a bow tie - one of the signature wardrobe accessories that Goldberg donned for years. "He was just such a great guy."

Dombrowski: There's a lot of talent on this Red Sox team

Dombrowski: There's a lot of talent on this Red Sox team

Trenni Kusnierek talks with Dave Dombrowski about the Red Sox clubhouse and their expectations for the 2017 season.