The light blasted into the media room from two large frosted windows. It was very hot. Ironic because we were in the same building as a giant ice box. The city’s press was there. It felt big, it felt new and old, like the way things once were. In Greater Sudbury hockey is a big deal. We grow up on frozen ponds bonding with each other, on streets yelling out “CAR”, in arenas cheering for our friends and family. This is a big part of our life. It’s even big for those of us who aren’t traditionally huge fans of the sport. We still respect the importance of hockey within the culture.
As most of you might know by now, local entrepreneur, Dario Zulich has purchased the Sudbury Wolves. The slogan is “A New Era” and it’s clear those three words are spent well on this moment. Zulich stood before the audience, behind a small wooden podium in the Sudbury Arena’s media room. He charmed the audience with his authentic, not polished whatsoever style of presenting himself. He spoke smoothly and was frank about his goals. He wants to build a winning team and believes the community needs to participate in the process. Zulich briefly touched on the elephant in the room; the True North Strong Event Centre. That project is a key part of his plan to elevate Greater Sudbury to a world-class city. He conveyed that the city had to move quickly on the process of releasing an RFP. He then assured everyone that he would happily bring the Wolves to any arena that won the bid.
After the presentation Dario Zulich made himself available for a media scrum. The microphones pushed forward as the 6’2 Sudbury native navigated several questions about his ideas, his reasons and his intentions. All of these questions resulted in one very honest answer; A New Era is in front of us. This new regime under Dario Zulich will be hyper-focused on the fan experience and building a strong team. This has the potential to be unlike anything the city has ever seen.
Full disclosure, I am not a massive hockey fan. I appreciate the sport and have been raised with it around me. My grandfather was a legendary player in the North and my mother is very happy to brag about her father’s hockey skills any chance she gets. Look up Glenn Skelliter if you’re curious. Launchpad Creative has been working for almost a year with the True North Strong team and we’re excited about what is coming up next in this new era of Wolves hockey.