Ron Burkle had two special guests at his house Sunday; the Stanley Cup and Tom Brady.
The Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner welcomed the trophy, and Brady, one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time, to hang out by the pool at his Southern California residence, where he he hosted family and friends.
Burkle just watched the Penguins win their third championship since he purchased the team with Mario Lemieux in 1999.
But Brady, who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2000, is one of the few pro athletes with more championships than the Penguins in that span. Brady just won his fifth Super Bowl title, and fourth game MVP award, for New England in February.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player in the playoffs after his team hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second straight season Sunday night.
Though held without a point on Sunday night in the Penguins’ 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators, in 24 postseason games, Crosby led the league with 19 assists and his 27 points ranked second behind teammate Evgeni Malkin. He entered the game with a three-game point streak, including three assists in a 6-0 win in Game 5 on Thursday.
“You can’t match this,” Crosby said after lifting the Stanley Cup for the third time in his career. “This is what it’s all about. To be able to share that with a group of guys, a lot of them guys you played a long time with and understand how difficult it is and what you’ve had to go through. You have a small window to play and have a career. I feel fortunate, but I also understand how difficult it is. You just want to try to make the best of it.”
Crosby’s back-to-back seasons winning the award marks only the third time that a player has repeated the feat.
Crosby joins fellow Penguins great and current team owner Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992) and Philadelphia Flyers goalie Bernie Parent (1974 and 1975) as back-to-back trophy recipients.
“We set out to try to go back-to-back,” he said. “We knew it was going to be difficult. I think that’s probably where the most joy comes out of it. Knowing how difficult it is now to go back-to-back.”
The back-to-back Cup titles and playoff MVPs further pad one of the more astounding résumés in modern sports history. Crosby’s accolades include two Olympic gold medals, a golden goal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, a World Cup title, the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2007 and 2014, the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer in 2014 and the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer in 2010 and 2017.
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has waived his no-movement clause for the expansion draft, according to multiple reports.
Every team has to expose one goalie to the Vegas Golden Knights, so now the Penguins can protect 23-year-old Matt Murray.
Although Vegas reportedly has interest in the two-time All-Star, Fleury’s no-movement clause allows him to be traded to 18 teams, according to multiple reports, so the Penguins have options. Even if the Penguins traded him to a team in need of a proven goalie, like Calgary, they would have to make another goaltender available in the expansion draft.
Teams faced a 5 p.m. ET deadline on Monday to ask players to waive their no-movement clauses for the draft.
Fleury, 32, backstopped the Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup but was displaced by Murray in last year’s run to the title. When Murray was hurt in warmups before the first game of the playoffs, Fleury stepped in for the next 14 games, leading the Pens past Presidents Trophy winner Washington in the second round.
In the conference finals, however, he struggled in Game 3 and was replaced by Murray. The youngster took the Penguins the rest of the way to the championship.
Fleury has two years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $5.75 million per season.