• Nationality: United States


    Shoots: Right


    Hometown: Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Nicknames: Wolfey, Gritty
    Member of the TCHC from 2018-present

    Eric, also known as Wolfey, or Gritty at the rink as after his hometown Philadelphia Flyers‘ mascot, joined the Tokyo Canadians in 2018 after several years as a “call-up” from the ranks of non-members. Prior to that, he started his hockey playing career in early 2013 at the Takadanobaba rink on Wednesday nights for pickup games coordinated by longtime Tokyo Canadian Satoshi “Chaw” Chawanya along with some current and former Canadians and other hockey players.

    Subsequently, Wolfey joined the Kanagawa Maple Leafs at the start of the 2013 season and, after several seasons, transferred to the foreigner-packed Yokohama Jets where he’s mostly a grinder. Although he came to the game late as a player, he has been a longtime fan of the game, suffering the indignities of nearly a half-century since the Flyers’ only Stanley Cup victories in his early childhood. Salting that wound was the fact that while he was at the University of Pittsburgh, the hated Penguins were winning back-to-back Cups of their own. 

    What Gritty lacks in ability and skill, he makes up for with charm, determination and “grit.” And chirping. Maybe just chirping. And lots of it. But nearly everyone loves his passion and enthusiasm. Except the guys who don’t enjoy being on the receiving end of all the chirping. Which, it turns out, is also nearly everyone. Despite his caustic chatter on the ice, Gritty is a softie at heart, in the same vein as his dear Flyers’ lovable mascot, quick to offer a helping hand, especially in the form of rides to teammates in need, to or from the rink, or to far-away tournaments. Though not all of his passengers can stomach his ahem aggressive nature behind the wheel.

    Wolfey initially developed a love for the Japanese language and culture, having first studied in the US then participating in study abroad programs at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and Konan University in Kobe. As a good Kansai boy, he cheers for the Hanshin Tigers baseball team. While at Konan, he devoted himself to the Japanese martial art of kendo (bamboo sword fighting), in which he holds a 2nd degree black belt. He has spent parts of four decades in Japan, in Kansai, Oita Prefecture (Nakatsu City) and Tokyo and can effortlessly switch among the various dialects. He’s also skilled with a number of other languages, which often end up mixed into his chirping. 

    Two of Gritty’s three sons have played hockey, including senior high-schooler Gritty Jr., who occasionally joins the Canadians for Red-White skates, sometimes on a line with his old man. Gritty Sr. is thrilled to be able to share the ice with his progeny and hopes to be able to continue doing so for years to come. Although Philly through and through, Gritty Sr. fell in love with LA after moving there to pursue an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and is a devoted fan of the USC Trojans football team (another perennial source of pain). He can usually be seen sporting the Flyers’ orange and black or the Trojans’ cardinal and gold. In addition to hockey, Wolfey also participates in Olympic distance triathlons. He currently resides in Setagaya-ku in Tokyo.

    In late 2023, Wolfey joined the executive team of the Canadians as Vice President as part of an effort to shore up management and put the team back on solid footing following the move to alumni status of some former execs and in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Eric is excited to help grow the team, manage the Nagano Cup tournament and contribute to the team’s charitable endeavors.