Rob Gronkowski retires... again, plus Auston Matthews cleans up at NHL Awards

Happy Wednesday, everybody.

Let’s solve to it.

Good early morning to everybody however particularly to…


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AUSTON MATTHEWS

Auston Matthews has actually won his very first MVP award. It most likely will not be his last. The 24-year-old Maple Leafs super star won the Hart Trophy, provided to the league’s most important gamer, by a broad margin over second-place finisher Connor McDavid. Matthews likewise won the Ted Lindsay Award, provided to the league’s most impressive gamer.

  • Matthews is simply the 3rd Maple Leaf — and the initially in 67 years — to win the Hart Trophy, signing up with Ted Kennedy (1954-55) and Babe Pratt (1943-44).
  • Matthews led the league with 60 objectives and 0.82 objectives per video game this season.
  • Matthews was likewise called to the 2021-22 First All-Star Team in addition to goalie Igor Shesterkin, defensemen Roman Josi and Cale Makar, ideal winger Mitchell Marner and left winger Johnny Gaudreau.

Here were the other award winners from last night:

  • Norris Trophy (leading defenseman): Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche)
  • Calder Trophy (leading novice): Moritz Seider (Detroit Red Wings)
  • Vezina Trophy (leading goalie): Igor Shesterkin (New York Rangers)

Honorable points out

And not such an excellent early morning for…

THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have actually currently been increased by one retirement and un-retirement this offseason (thanks, Tom Brady). Now, they’ll be wishing for the very same from among his preferred targets. Rob Gronkowski called it a profession the other day, composing on Instagram, “[I’m] walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field.”

This isn’t Gronkowski’s very first retirement. He left the video game in 2019, missed out on the whole routine season, and after that reunited with Brady for 2020 and 2021 in Tampa. Gronkowski’s representative, Drew Rosenhaus, even confessed he would not be shocked if Gronkowski returned if Brady called.

If Gronkowski is certainly done, however, he leaves as one of the best tight ends of perpetuity:

  • 2010s All-Decade Team, five-time Pro Bowler, four-time first-team All-Pro, four-time Super Bowl champ, 2014 Comeback Player of the Year
  • Third all-time amongst tight ends with 92 regular-season getting goals, just behind Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez
  • Second all-time with 15 playoff getting goals, just behind Jerry Rice

It’s difficult to overemphasize Gronkowski’s effect. He was an excellent receiver, great blocker and a consistent source of pleasure both on and off the field. You can have a look at his finest minutes from both here. As for the on-field effect, this is a huge loss for the Buccaneers. They have 5 tight ends on their lineup. Only one, Cameron Brate, has actually captured an NFL pass. Three are novices.

Also, Brady tossed 6 goals and absolutely no interceptions while targeting Gronkowski last season, his finest ratio of any target. Here’s how he responded to the news.

SportsLine information professional Stephen Oh states that with Gronkowski retiring, the Buccaneers’ opportunity to win the NFC dropped from 22.1% to 20.6%, and their opportunity to win the Super Bowl fell from 11.8% to 11.2%.

Brooks Koepka signing up with LIV Golf, Collin Morikawa sticking with PGA Tour 🏌


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As you check out quickly at the top of the other day early morning’s newsletter, LIV Golf has actually attracted its newest star: Brooks Koepka is signing up with the Saudi Arabia-backed league ahead of its occasion in Portland next week. Let’s go a little much deeper on this subject today:

  • Koepka is a four-time significant winner: 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open, 2018 and 2019 PGA Championship. He’s likewise a previous world No. 1.
  • At 19th in the current Official World Golf Rankings, Koepka is the second-highest ranked golf enthusiast in LIV Golf, behind Dustin Johnson (15th).
  • Like Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, Koepka supposedly gotten countless dollars to make the switch.
  • Abraham Ancer is likewise signing up with LIV Golf.

Koepka invested much of recently at the U.S. Open being frustrated with the quantity of LIV Golf-associated concerns he got. However, it’s simple to see why LIV’s deep pockets and laidback schedule fit Koepka well. He hasn’t played in a non-major occasion considering that completion of March, and 4 of his 8 PGA Tour wins are majors (which he’ll still have the ability to play in); he does not appear to care as deeply or prepare as much for the other occasions. 

In a big win for the PGA Tour, nevertheless, Collin Morikawa rejected reports he’s leaving for LIV Golf. The No. 4 gamer worldwide and two-time significant winner tweeted he’s “here to stay on the PGA Tour.”

Deshaun Watson settles 20 of 24 civil suits versus him


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Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson reached private settlements in 20 of the 24 civil suits declaring sexual misbehavior versus him.

Still, Watson is not out of the woods either lawfully or concerning a possible suspension from the NFL.

  • There are still 4 cases versus Watson, consisting of that of Ashley Solis, the initial accuser. Tony Buzbee, who represents all 24 accusers, called Solis “one of the heroes of this story.”
  • Watson might likewise deal with discipline from the NFL no matter how the staying 4 cases end up. The NFL can great or suspend gamers for offenses of the individual conduct policy.
  • NFL representative Brian McCarthy launched a declaration stating, “Today’s development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.”

Watson, 26, did not play last season and was traded from the Texans to the Browns in March, quickly after a grand jury chose not to submit criminal charges versus him coming from claims of sexual misbehavior. Cleveland right away provided him a completely ensured five-year, $230-million agreement.

Rest in peace, Caleb Swanigan 🏀


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Caleb Swanigan, the previous Purdue basketball star who played parts of 3 seasons in the NBA, passed away on Monday night, Purdue revealed the other day. He was 25.

  • Swanigan conquered an incredibly tough youth in which he moved in between Utah and Indiana lot of times, remained in homeless shelters and dealt with weight problems. Former Purdue star Roosevelt Barnes coached Swanigan in grassroots basketball, took him in and became his guardian, assisting him turn into a McDonald’s All-American and among the country’s leading employees.
  • Swanigan was a force for Purdue, acquiring Big Ten Player of the Year and a number of All-America honors as a sophomore in 2016-17 prior to getting in the NBA Draft.
  • The Trail Blazers chose him in the preliminary of the 2017 NBA Draft, and he likewise hung around in the G League and with the Kings. His last NBA season was 2019-20.

Swanigan dealt with weight problems in his post-playing days, and he passed away of natural causes, according to the Allen County coroner’s workplace. He was considered an excellent colleague who did great deals of deal with youth off the court, and his openness about his childhood was genuinely motivating

Plenty of previous colleagues and NBA gamers — consisting of Jaylen Brown and Jusuf Nurkic — have actually revealed their acknowledgements.

What we’re seeing Wednesday 📺

🏀 Liberty at Sun, 7 p.m. on ESPN2
🏒 Stanley Cup Final Game 4: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. on ABC



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