New year off to a blistering start

Seattle Kraken won seven straight games, a National Hockey League record, Tom Brady may have played his last game in the NFL, Canada’s Brooke Henderson won the first LPGA tournament of the season, LeBron James was only second Player who has surpassed 38,000 career points in the National Basketball Association and Canadian quarterback sensation Nathan Rourke is bringing his considerable talent to Jacksonville where, at best, he will join Trevor Lawrence.

And that was just January in the wonderful world of sport.

What’s coming in 2023? Looking into the crystal ball for the next five months gives us the following (a look at the last six months of 2023 follows next week):

February – The Philadelphia Eagles continue to ride the Jalen Hurts train through the Super Bowl; Gimli’s Kerri Einarson cements her position as Skip of Canada’s top women’s curling team by winning the Scotties; and the LIV Golf Tour plays its first event without anyone noticing or caring.

March – Brad Gushue is aiming for his fifth Brier title, but Brendan Bottcher leads his Alberta rink to his second national crown; Connor McDavid continues his run towards 150 points while Connor Bedard ends his junior career with McDavid’s numbers giving him something to shoot at; The Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets continue to be bad for bedard.

April – Finally, Rory McIlroy concludes the career grand slam by winning the Masters in Augusta; The Raptors make a late surge and squeak into the NBA playoffs; the Blue Jays are favored by most observers as a contender for the American League East; The Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship, to be played in Brampton, Ontario, will see Canada ahead of the United States – again.

May — Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., is the talk of baseball by hitting 14 home runs in his Jays’ first 29 games; Boston vs. New Jersey for the NHL’s Eastern Conference title; Winnipeg via Seattle to the west; Sport’s greatest two minutes, the Kentucky Derby, can’t possibly be as exciting as last year when Rich Strike came out of nowhere to win the tightrope, but it’s worth devoting an hour’s attention to the first Saturday in May.

June – The Bruins end their sensational season with a Stanley Cup win; A shocker at the US Open at LA Country Club as touring sophomore Taylor Montgomery emerges victorious; Ja Morant becomes a household name as he leads Memphis Grizzles to the NBA title; Henderson repeats her 2016 win in the Women’s PGA Championship and gives her three career majors.

CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter on the Ryder Cup this fall in Rome: “Jon Rahm will win the Ryder Cup 6-0-0. They’ll probably rename the town Rohm after he’s done with his conquest.” From Canadian parody website The Beaverton: “Hockey world shocked after NHL star marries brunette.” Everett Silvertips Assistant GM Mike Fraser, a former Junior and US college goalie: “You can’t figure out why the red light doesn’t go out (at WinSport’s Canadian Olympic Park). You have tried everything. Now you know how I’ve felt my entire career.” Quipster retired Seattle’s Dwight Perry after Cowboys kicker Brett Maher was good on just one out of five tries by points in a playoff game against Tampa Bay: “Not least of all, Brett Maher introduced the NFL baseball term ‘Mendoza Line.'” Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “In Dallas’ 31-14 win over Tampa Bay, Cowboys kicker Brett Maher missed a record four extra points. It turns out that Maher is a German word for shaft.” Marty Gorsich, Director of the Farmers Open Golf Tournament: “LIV Golf didn’t take the best golfers on our (PGA Tour) with them. They took the bad guys and the guys whose names were bigger than their games.” Bob Molinaro of pilot (Hampton, Virginia) on robotic referees to be used in all AAA-level games next year: “With Arguing about balls and shots with a robot ump is akin to someone swearing at your laptop.” Broadcaster Dave Hodge on Twitter: “The NHL should run a ‘Support for Ukraine’ campaign. Russian players could invoke their ‘Provorov warm-up rights’.” Omaha’s Brad Dickson, a regular critic of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and their recent bad game: “The oldest person in the world, a French nun, has died at the age of 118 . She’s as old as she can remember the last time the Huskers fielded a competitive football team.” From, under ‘Things you should never say to a Tom Brady fan: ‘Which one of his boring plays among his Does 8-yard completions stand out to you?’” From “Phillies’ Rob Thomson’s wife was unimpressed that he was called one of MLB’s most attractive managers, presumably because they didn’t take into account his sharp, knobby knees. “


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