Sudbury OHL team hires hockey historian to "celebrate moments"

The Sudbury Wolves hopes to dust off some old memories from days gone by. The OHL franchise has hired its first ever hockey historian, Mike Commito.

OHL team preparing for 50th anniversary in 2022

Andrew Dale, the vice president of marketing and development with the Sudbury Wolves OHL franchise, stands with Mike Commito, the team historian with the team. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

The Sudbury Wolves hopes to dust off some old memories from days gone by.

The OHL franchise has hired its first ever hockey historian, Mike Commito.

As the team's historian, he will conduct interviews with former players, former staff members, long-time fans and even long-time billet families. Old newspaper articles and microfilm will also provide primary sources for further historical information and stories about the team.

Commito is not new to sports history, having written articles for Sportsnet, VICE Sports, The Athletic, and The Hockey News. He's also written a book called HOCKEY 365 Daily Stories from the Ice, due to be published this fall.

The role of team historian for the Wolves is a part time position. Commito works full-time in research and development at Cambrian College, and is also a history professor at Laurentian University.

First ever historian for the Wolves

The Wolves vice president of marketing and development, Andrew Dale, calls the team historian a valuable storyteller, and adds the position is not only important for the team, but also for the community.

"To bring forth those memorable moments, those really important things that have built the character and foundation of the team over the past 46 seasons," he said 

Dale says the team really wanted to have a historian in place as the Wolves prepare to celebrate their 50th anniversary in the OHL in 2022.

"As big as [anniversaries] are for the organization, when it involves a community hockey team that's made up of fans from all throughout the region, we think it's a bit more than just a company celebrating an existence in business," Dale said.

"It's really around celebrating moments in time."

Highlighting fan memories

Commito has already started compiled historical details about the Sudbury Wolves.

When the NHL holds its annual entry draft later in June, Commito says the Wolves plan to roll out an online story about their first ever NHL draft pick, Morris Titanic, who played in the team's inaugural season in 1972/73.

Fans of the Sudbury Wolves are also especially welcome to share their own personal stories and memories of the team.

"For me, the more people I can talk to the better it'll be. Because not only do I want to highlight those stories, we also want to highlight the fans, people who have been long-time season ticket holders."

Commito wants to commemorate the Wolves' 50 year milestone in the OHL with a book or some sort of compilation of rich history.

"Not a lot of hockey teams, or sports teams for that matter, have historians so it's great that the Wolves are looking into this opportunity, and exploring it as a way to connect with the fans," Commito said.

"[To] kind of bridge the gap between eras as we move forward into this brighter future with the product on the ice."

With files from Angela Gemmill