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Sports briefs for April 29, 2014

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Bruins’ Paille returns to practice

Boston forward Daniel Paille has been cleared to return for the Bruins’ playoff second-round series against the Montreal Canadiens, coach Claude Julien said Tuesday after practice.

The 30-year-old Paille has not played since April 12 when he sustained a head injury on a hit from Jake McCabe of the Buffalo Sabres. It was not disclosed by the team whether Paille suffered a concussion.

Tuesday was Paille’s first practice with full contact. He was part of the Bruins’ fourth line and had nine goals and nine assists for 18 points.

Yanks’ Pineda, Ellsbury injured

New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury are considered day to day after suffering recent injuries.

The Yankees also announced Tuesday that right-hander Ivan Nova had Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.

Ellsbury has a sore hand that forced manager Joe Girardi to change his lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners. Tests showed no structural damage.

Pineda is dealing with a lat injury that apparently happened while pitching a simulated game in Florida. The team sent him for an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

Mavs’ Blair gets 1-game ban

Donald Sterling wasn’t the only target of NBA discipline on Tuesday.

The league handed a one-game suspension to Dallas Mavericks forward/center DeJuan Blair for kicking San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter in the head Monday.

The incident occurred late in the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ 93-89 win over the Mavericks that evened the best-of-seven, first-round Western Conference playoff series at two games apiece.

Fired assistant taped conversations

Former Golden State Warriors assistant coach Darren Erman was fired earlier this month because he was violating a team policy of secretly recording conversations between coaches and players, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Erman recorded informal discussions between players and coaches and also among coaches without anyone’s knowledge or consent, according to the ESPN report.

It is not known what happened to the recordings and how or if Erman used them in any way. Team officials found out in March that he was recording conversations and Erman indicated he had been doing so for about three weeks.

Jagr near deal with Devils

Longtime NHL forward Jaromir Jagr plans to return for his 23rd NHL season in 2014-15 and is close to signing a contract to remain with the New Jersey Devils, according to Nova Sports.

The 42-year-old veteran led the Devils in points this year by a wide margin with 67 and participated in all 82 regular-season games. He also played for the Czech Republic’s Olympic team in February in Sofia, Russia.

George’s home burglarized

While the Indiana Pacers were losing at home to the Atlanta Hawks in their first-round NBA playoff series on Monday night, forward Paul George’s home was burglarized and a All-Star ring was among the missing items.

George’s parents discovered the break-in when arriving at their son’s home and called authorities. A police report indicated that the theft occurred between 7:15 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. ET while George was at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Game 5.

In addition to platinum ring from the 2014 All-Star Game, with an estimated value was $15,000, other missing items included a $700 watch.

Panthers oust interim coach

The Florida Panthers dismissed a coach for the second time since November, announcing Tuesday that interim coach Peter Horachek will not be retained.

Horachek took over after Kevin Dineen was fired on Nov. 8. The Panthers posted a 26-36-4 record under Horachek and finished the season with the second-lowest point total (66) in the NHL.

The 54-year-old Horachek was promoted from the Panthers’ San Antonio AHL affiliate to take the job when Florida started poorly under Dineen.

Messier finalists named

Forwards Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks were named finalists for the 2014 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

First awarded in 2007, the trophy goes to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.”


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