For forever, it seems that there has been the idea out there that not much goes on in a small community.
As a reporter operating in North Durham and the Kawartha Lakes, I know that this simply is not true.
Many of us have likely heard the old Corner Gas theme song that includes the phrase ‘where there’s not a lot going on’, however the local communities always seem to offer a plethora of goings on that would interest everyone.
Every week, there always seem to be interesting events for people to attend. This weekend alone includes many events, including two dog walk fundraisers in Uxbridge, the 4th annual Mutt Strut at Elgin Park on Saturday, May 28 and the Purina Walk for Dog Guides on Sunday, May 29, as well as numerous yard sales in North Durham and the Kawarthas. For theatre lovers, Port Perry Town Hall 1873, the Uxbridge Music Hall and the Lindsay Academy theatre offer many different productions.
As we head further into the year, there are numerous events including Canoe the Nonquon in June, Ribfests in Uxbridge and Port Perry, the Ride for Dad, and many others.
Until their summer recess in July, Council meetings are a great place to go for local happenings. Since I have started with The Standard, I have never left Council without some sort of news. People can go and get informed on everything from decisions on speed limits and stop signs, to the Greenbank Airport or the ISP project in Scugog, or the Brock Culvert project in Uxbridge just as some examples.
There are also numerous charities operating in the area that are always either holding fundraising events or making donations. For those who would like to be the people giving back, there are opportunities to volunteer or join. For example, 100 Men of Scugog are currently seeking members.
I bet many people would learn a lot as well from just talking to other people that are living in the local area. It is my belief that everyone has an interesting story to tell, and listening to others about their experiences could create an interesting afternoon.
These are just some examples of the things that happen during our news week. To me, every week in a small community has tons of potential for things to happen and is always a new and exciting adventure.
It has been almost two weeks since the Toronto Maple Leafs won the right to choose first overall in the 2016 NHL draft on Saturday, April 30 and I am still on cloud nine about it.
Finally the franchise can get what it has needed since Mats Sundin departed town, a true number one centre and someone to build the team around. At 6 ‘2” and about 200 lbs., Auston Matthews is that elite franchise centre that the team needs.
Matthews had a good season with the ZSC Lions, picking up 24 goals and 46 points in a men’s league where it is quite difficult for young players to provide offence. He also recently had an impressive two-goal game at the World Championships for Team USA against Belarus.
Many scouts are comparing the 18 year-old centre to former Colorado Avalanche Captain Joe Sakic who had over 1,600 points in an impressive career spanning over 1,300 games. While it is not a sure thing that the Leafs will take Matthews, they would be foolish not to fill the biggest need on their roster.
Potentially, Matthews would join a roster that already includes homegrown talent such as the likes of budding star defenceman Morgan Rielly, flashy forward William Nylander, productive and irritating centre Nazem Kadri, talented Russian winger Nikita Soshnikov and possibly former first round pick Mitch Marner.
Of course, this is not yet a roster of a potential contender as there are still some holes to be filled. Toronto does not have a solid number one goaltender, as I am not convinced that Jonathan Bernier can be that type of goalie. Despite having a strong finish to the season after a slow start, Bernier still finished the season with a goals against average on the upper end of the spectrum at 2.88. The team also lacks a larger stay at home defenceman.
But at least this moves the rebuild forward as Toronto can start to add complimentary pieces around Auston Matthews at the draft and through trade and free agency to start to shape what could be a team that would contend for the Stanley cup every year. This also lessens the pain of the rebuild as the Maple Leafs have at least won something. Not since 1985 has the team drafted first overall, when they took Wendel Clark.
Leafs fans, the future is starting to look brighter.
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy