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All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

January 21, 2007

Written by C.N.

First Japanese Professional Hockey Player

First, there was baseball, then football, then basketball. Now the Japanese have hit all four major professional sports — as CNN/Sports Illustrated reports, Yutaka Fukufuji just became the first Japanese hockey player to play in the National Hockey League:

Fukufuji entered to start the third in relief of Barry Brust. He faced five shots, but allowed Wideman’s goal 7:32 into the period. Brust allowed five goals in the first two periods. The 24-year-old Fukufuji was recalled Friday on an emergency basis after Mathieu Garon was placed on injured reserve with an injured finger.

Fukufuji became the first Japanese player to dress for an NHL game Dec. 16 against Dallas in another emergency stint. “I was so nervous,” he said. “But I was very excited, too.”

Upon further research at and, I found out that Fukufuji (who plays for Los Angeles Kings) is not even the first Asian player in the NHL. I already knew that the NHL had at least one Asian American player — Paul Kariya. But lists several Asian and Asian American players who have played or are still playing professional hockey.

Wow, even I can learn something new every day . . .

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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "First Japanese Professional Hockey Player" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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