After a good week long vacation, I’m back. My vacation, last week, included a couple days in Collingwood and proved to me, it doesn’t matter what type of weather we get, we will still have fun.
For the second straight year, my mother, my sister and I visited the Blue Mountain Resort. Last year, we were lucky, as it was a mostly sunny vacation. However, this year it rained both days we were there.
But, we didn’t let the rain stop us from enjoying every minute of being away. In fact, it has left me with fun memories, of running through the rain to go inside and look in some of the shops, walking through a somewhat foggy forested trail on top of the mountain, and listening to and watching the rain while in the hotel room.
Weather sometimes has the ability to dampen spirits, no pun intended there, but we had the mindset which actually made the stay that much more memorable. In my mind, not as many interesting stories start off with ‘it was a bright sunny day.’
Sometimes it is the simple things, like enjoying the company and sharing a laugh with those close to you.
Also, to borrow a point I made in a column last year, the best part of vacation is simply being away and escaping your normal life. Being at a place where nobody knows your name, where you can have a different routine and don’t have to worry about things like your usual responsibilities.
In the case of this year’s vacation, it was just that, a time to get away and relax. It didn't matter how much we did on the vacation, it mattered if we made memories we could look back on and laugh about, and just that we got away from our usual life. Personally, I think we all deserve to get away and escape the normal day to day routines.
I enjoyed my vacation, and now I’m looking forward to getting back to work, reporting the news that is important to those who reside in our coverage area.
It has been an exciting last few weeks for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. There has been a lot of news of late, so, in order of when it happened, I will break it down.
For starters, Auston Matthews won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. To put this in perspective, he was the first Maple Leaf in 51 years to win that trophy. There is no doubt in my mind he was deserving of the honour. This season, he finished tied for the second most goals in the league with 40, and was the first rookie to score 40 goals in a season since Alexander Ovechkin. When you factor in the idea his linemates, Zach Hyman and William Nylander, had limited experience in the NHL it's an impressive feat.
Next, the Maple Leafs were very active on July 1st, signing veteran forward Dominic Moore and veteran defenceman Ron Hainsey. Both bring extra experience to the team and fill the roles of a couple of players the Leafs lost in free agency.
First of all, Dominic Moore has played for the Leafs already, so he knows how to handle the pressure of the tough Toronto market. Personally, I am happy the Leafs have given him a chance to return to Toronto. During one of the Leafs’ bad seasons, in 2008-2009, he set a career high for points, with 41. He can still chip in some offence, last season he produced 11 goals and 25 points with the Boston Bruins. He can also be counted on to win face-offs. This past season, he won 54.6 per cent of the face-offs he took. With all he brings, it is a surprise the Leafs were able to sign him to a contract for only a $1 million cap hit. Ron Hainsey brings his experience, from winning the Stanley Cup this past season, to the Leafs’ locker room. In Hainsey, the Leafs get a player who can block shots, help kill penalties, and, as mentioned earlier, brings experience to the locker room. The signing plugs the hole in the depth chart, left when Matt Hunwick signed in Pittsburgh.
Now, on July 2nd, the Maple Leafs made a large splash by signing, former San Jose Sharks winger, Patrick Marleau. Marleau has been a top pairing winger with the Sharks for many years, and has been a staple of their roster since the 1997-1998 season. Last season, he had 27 goals and 19 assists. Like the other signings, Marleau brings experience, and he played in the Stanley Cup final with the Sharks in 2016. He also adds extra depth in the forward position, if the team is looking to flip James van Riemsdyk for a top pairing defenceman.
With everything that has been happening of late, I am looking forward to the next NHL season.
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