Welcome ‘home’

Fort Frances is set to roll out the red carpet on Saturday to welcome back Duncan Keith—along with his travelling companions known as the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy.
As everyone here well knows, Duncan got his hockey start with the Times’ Tigers back in the 1990-91 season and then honed his skills in the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association up to age 15, when he and his family relocated to Penticton, B.C.
Fort Frances certainly never forgot about Duncan—staging a “Duncan Keith Day” in July, 2008 that drew more than 300 people to the Memorial Sports Centre when he was an up-and-coming star defenceman with the Chicago Blackhawks.
But Duncan—despite all his subsequent fame and fortune—clearly hasn’t forgotten his roots, either, by choosing Fort Frances as the site for his day with Lord Stanley’s mug after winning it for third time last month while also claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Kudos to the organizing committee, which had just six weeks to put together a program to not only honour Duncan’s latest achievements but also allow as many people as possible to get an autograph as well as photos with the famed trophies.
It’s sure to be a great day of celebration and hopefully a huge crowd will be on hand to give Duncan an enthusiastic Fort Frances welcome.
As noted in this space last month, but worthy of reiterating, Duncan’s accomplishments are an inspiration to local hockey players dreaming of one day hoisting the Stanley Cup. But they also provide a powerful message to any young person that hailing from a small town isn’t an obstacle to achieving the pinnacle of success in their chosen careers.
That anything is possible if one puts their heart and soul into it.
Congratulations, Duncan, and enjoy your visit “home.” A lot of people here certainly will.