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
Don Shirley | It might seem inconceivable that a spoiler is possible for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at The Broad Stage. Also "Rest" at SCR.
Gary Leonard | Gary Leonard on the first day of street sales for the Los Angeles Register. Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.
Ellen Alperstein | The question 'how hot is it?' once again will be answered by the landmark thermometer in the desert town of Baker.
Phil Wallace | With the Lakers worst-ever season in Los Angeles ending this week, it's time to look ahead. What should the Lakers do next to reverse their fortunes?
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | LA mayor Eric Garcetti has a narrative problem. The two stories he is telling about Los Angeles don't line up. Winning an Olympic bid could provide the deus ex machina the city needs in the absence of a heroic storyline.
Bill Boyarsky
It’s not easy to figure out Mayor Eric Garcetti’s grand plan for Los Angeles, or even if he has one. His state of the city speech Thursday didn’t help. "It starts with modern technology,” the mayor said, and then sort of left us hanging.
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
Remember this, the mobile home in need of so much repair that one of the metrics I used to interview...