WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown Wolves continue to add to their roster for the 2020-21 season, adding forward Alexander Gregorich from the Battle Creek Rumble Bees in a dispersal draft.
Team owner Andreas Johansson says that won’t be the last of the additions to the roster, but adds the Wolves have to be selective as to who they bring in because of some big name acquisitions in the off season.
”Obviously, we have to stay within the cap. So you know, because we brought in some big names early on, you gotta really look at who you’re bringing in and make sure, you know, like we’ve always said we don’t always need to add the best players, but you gotta have the right players. And I think that’s what we’re doing and I think we’re in a really good spot both on and off the ice, I feel like we’re in a very good position,” said Johansson.
The Wolves have added new season ticket packages with full season, half season, and 10 game ticket packs to purchase, broke down into 5 categories: adult, military, seniors, youth ages 12-19 and children ages 6-11.
”Yeah, I mean season tickets so far this year is higher than it was right as the season started last year. So I think it’s a combination of things, right, I think people are excited about what we’re doing but I don’t want to take all the credit. Like I think it’s just fans are starved of anything to watch so that they’re buying tickets and you know they’re obviously excited to come back in October,” said Johansson.
The Wolves have also been involved with the community even through COVID-19, making a trip to Alexandria Central in late May to make a donation to the school and give them a special edition Watertown Wolves Autism Awareness jersey.
”I just think we have a bigger role to play than just being a sports team. I mean, we have to be involved with the community, we have to help out where we can, not just during COVID. I mean the thing in Alex Bay was for autism, you know? It’s a very popular game that’s normally towards the end of the season, auction off all the jerseys and donate part of the proceeds. Obviously, the game never got played, so we did an online auction and we still raised a pretty good amount of money and were able to help out. But that’s been part of my plan since I came in is wherever we can get involved whether it’s parades, community events, something for kids, we want to try to help out,” said Johansson.
With sports and entertainment slowly beginning to open back up, Johansson says he’s optimistic about the Federal Hockey League season starting on time with or without fans allowed in the stands. And adds the club has contingency plans in place either way.
”I mean, of course that’s our belief and our hope. You know, we follow the same updates as everybody else does and we do weekly calls with other owners. You know, where every state’s in a little bit of a different phase. But I mean we’re- Knock on wood- we’re feeling pretty good about it. Who knows what’s gonna happen if a 2nd wave comes in? That might knock it all on it’s head. We have faith that we’re gonna have pretty much a normal season. I mean if there are some restrictions in place then we’ll deal with that and we’ll provide a great experience with the broadcasts. You know, we have a great broadcast team and we wanna make sure everybody can see the games and we’re gonna do all we can to have as normal of a season as we can,” said Johansson.
While the New York State Public High School Athletic Association continues to formulate a game plan for fall sports due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they are also looking at adding some new, non-traditional sports.
Section 10 Executive Director Carl Normandin, who earlier this week was elected to the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame and is on the AD HOC Commitee to address the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 fall high school sports season, says the state is looking to bring some new sports to the table. Some that have gained some popularity in the last few years and are recognized at the college level.
”First and foremost would be E-sports. We have a number of schools here locally that are participating in E-sports, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton have graciously offered to help those programs. And whether it’s from a technology standpoint, or just offering avenues for our student athletes to participate in. Couple of the other sports that have been talked about would be trap shooting, bass fishing, all of which may not be sponsored by schools, but there seems to be some student interest, and we have had some inquiries as to what the route would be. Archery being the last one,” said Normandin.