United Nations of hockey

FukufujiKings games in the afternoon often attract a bunch of fans in shorts and t-shirts, but I only spotted one pair of bare legs down near the ice today at Staples Center. The Kings lost 4-3 in a shootout after leading the Dallas Stars for awhile in the third period. By taking some shots in the pre-game warmups and watching the loss from the end of the bench, Yutaka Fukufuji became the answer to a trivia question: who was the first Japanese player to suit up in the National Hockey League? Fukufuji began the season in Reading, PA and moved up to Manchester, NH, where he's the backup goalie and has yet to play a game. He's unlikely to play for L.A. either — he's here as an emergency call-up for injured goalie Dan Cloutier. Fukufuji's arrival brings the number of nations represented in the Los Angeles locker room to nine: Canada, U.S., Japan, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and Latvia (home of enforcer Raitis Ivanans.)

Sunday update: The Kings, who don't play again until Tuesday, stashed Fukufuji on the roster of the Long Beach Ice Dogs for now.

Photo: AP/Mark Avery via Yahoo

December 16, 2006 7:13 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
Donna Perlmutter | Russian Boris Eifman brings story-book ballets that are not about fairytale creatures or kingdoms and their royalty, but about real people drowning in human tragedies.
Steve Harvey | It's traveling season and I'm reminded of the questions that plague me when I'm boarding a plane.
Sean Roderick | No rain in sight, but a big rainbow over Mar Vista just before sunset nonetheless.
Don Shirley | With the end of Actors' Equity's 99-Seat Theater Plan now scheduled for next June, some suggestions for the transition. Plus 'Bad Jews' and 'The Heir Apparent.'
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs every Thursday at LA Observed.
Bill Boyarsky
Marcie Edwards, Los Angeles' water boss, gives an audience no sense of the calamitous nature of the drought. But maybe that’s as it should be.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
Hot inland but so far, temperate here at the coast. We've had raindrops, rainbows, and evening light so pretty,...