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  • Archive for the ‘ECHL’ Category

    Japanese players not (yet) in the ECHL

    Posted by simon c on 2009 October 21日 Wednesday

    Three Japanese born players tried out for ECHL and IHL teams this season, but none of them made the cut. The economic downturn has also affected minor league pro hockey as several teams in the AHL and ECHL have folded or suspended operations for this season with probably more casualties in the lower leagues. This means that the pro hockey market is overflowing with capable players, and some players are having to play in lower leagues than their skills would normally warrant. Our Japanese challengers seem to have become casualties as well.

    takahashi

    Former Nikko Ice Buck Kazuma Takahashi spent the past 2 seasons with the Utah Grizzlies, and he got an invite to the Stockton Thunder training camp after a successful FAT (Free Agent Training Camp). Despite being productive during he did not make the final cut and the official reason given was his old battle wound from 9 years ago, despite the fact that he played in the ECHL for the past 2 seasons. Luckily he was then invited to the SPHL tryouts, and was signed by the Louisiana IceGators along with Takaaki Ishikawa who just graduated from college and was due to play for the China Sharks of the Asia League before the team changed directions and became the China Dragon.

    takuma

    As for the Kawai brothers, defenceman Ryuichi and forward Takuma, who also went through a successful FAT and then were trying out for the IHL Bloomington PrairieThunder, they were both attractive players who played well during the tryout (their words) but they were cut because of lack of visas. Now, I thought teams were supposed to provide the visas once they signed the players, not the other way around. But the Kawai brothers are now back in Japan and are waiting for their US work permits to be issued. In the meantime, the expansion AL team Tohoku Free Blades have picked them up and they will definitely upgrade the upstart team. Their contracts with the Blades are supposed to be temporary until they head back to the States, but who knows what will happen.

    ryuichi

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    チャイナ・シャークスGMとのインタビュー

    Posted by simon c on 2009 October 6日 Tuesday

    サンノゼ・シャークスのファンサイト、Sharks Site によるチャイナ・シャークスのChris Collins 元GMとのインタビューです。シャークスの長期的目標はチームとリーグをもっとプロ化させる事で、各連盟の影響を無くしてビジネスモデルとしてアジアリーグとシャークスを成功させる事だったそうです(現状から考えると夢物語みたいですね)。その為には、短期的にはシャークスは外国人選手に頼り(今季のチーム構成は中国人7人、元NHL選手5人-エンディコットとパーピック含む-と残りは日本人選手になる予定だったそうです)、中国人選手育成の為のファームチームを作り年間75-95試合を韓国、日本と北朝鮮のアマチュアチームと試合を組ませる予定だったそうです(合理的に見えますが、スポーツ省の権力者は自分の選手をトップチームに入れたかったそうです、ボロ負けする事になっても)。あとリーグの為にはオフィシャルの質の向上も欠かせなかったと言っています、今はレベルが低すぎると。NYアイランダーズのオーナーCharles Wang 氏が中国北部で行っている、ユース・プレーヤー向けのProject Hope との連携は全く無かったのは残念です。Collins 氏はまた条件が揃えばシャークスは中国へ戻れると語っていますが、スポーツ省の現状を読む限り、両者の思惑が一致するのは難しそうです。アムールとバイキングスに続き、アジアリーグはまた残念なパートナーを無くしました。

    [Q] Can you tell me about the San Jose Sharks ending their affiliation with the China Sharks this summer, a team which has been renamed the China Dragons?

    [CC] In China, nothing is as it ever seems! We proposed a plan for total Chinese solvency financially and on the ice at the development and Asian League level. The Chinese ice hockey Association and its Jr. ministers in charge wanted things to remain ‘status quo’ which we deemed unacceptable. In the end I gave Greg Jamison and Mike Lehr, my two supervisors and partners, the opinion that we should not go forward in the Asian League with the Chinese until the Chinese Ice Hockey Association and its operatives were removed from our partnership. The (China Sharks) and the Asian League were asked by us NOT to use any of our “marks”.

    [Q] Is there still a relationship between the Sharks and the Chinese Ice Hockey Association, and moving forward does the San Jose Sharks organization have future plans for China in general or the ALIH specifically?

    [CC] There is a fabulous relationship between the Sr. Director of the CIHA, Mr. Zhou and SVSE as we look forward to working with them in the future. Our main goals now are developing coaches, players and on/off ice officials with Sr. officials in the Minister of Sports office in China. This level is going to affect change in China and help our work and expertise reach the people as opposed to any game playing at the lower levels we’ve tried to avoid.

    [Q] I have read hockey is historically popular in certain regions of China. In what parts of the country was hockey already played? How did the Sharks work to increase the development of new players? How quickly did Chinese fans or the Chinese media adapt to a new team and a new sport being played in such an urban location? How was that reception compared to other teams in Japan or Korea?

    [CC] Hockey in China is well known despite the results under the current regime of the CIHA. Hockey is mainly popular in the North mostly because of the influence of the Russian border. The sport with the influx of rinks nationwide is growing in unconventional areas weather-wise as the South and West will see rapid growth in the game in the near future. This is vital to the games survival if for no other reason than to get the game away from the grips of the same old “dinosaurs” in the north of China who have taken the game the wrong direction while using it as a game where development of coaches, players and officials (was non-professional).

    The Chinese media covered our team and results because the team is incorrectly classified and created as the official ‘National Team’ of China for financial reasons that has no benefit for people like us or those who play the sport. Because the players level was so poor due to bad development and bad coaching and training, the Chinese media were and are ‘brutal’ towards the sport, especially the Men’s team.

    This season we were only going forward in the Asian League in a commercially run team where the Jr. ministers and their local (associates) would have no say or affect on any players we picked, trained, paid and developed. Of course the CIHA was vehemently against this proposal as it basically boxed and blocked any influence they would have, so our investment in China of developing coaches, players and officials would be expedited two-fold.

    You must understand that the rules in creating the team are set for Jr. ministers and their buddies to keep everyone happy by selecting teams that their (associates) ask them to pick. Of course for one season we did not allow this and the team was more successful than it had ever been. This created chaos for the very few ‘obstructionist’ in the local northern region, as the game was changed and those responsible for the destruction of the Chinese so called ‘product’ were left out in the cold. Their players of choice who have led China to the B division of group 2 at the WC, and have led the country to be the laughing stock of international hockey were all told by me and my coaches ‘thanks but no thanks’ as we were rebuilding the team from top to bottom.

    The crowds in Songjiang where we played last season (about 35 minutes outside Shanghai with no traffic) were good as we averaged just over 3000 per game. Mostly college kids and young families as they were loyal and vocal about the Sharks! Sadly this season they’ve lost their first 6 games in a hapless situation where on average 350 people have been let in free to watch this… collection of kids being led down a path of more failure.

    Chinese (fans) are obviously not very kind to the Japanese teams as a whole and maybe like the South Koreans a bit more. Other sports mainly feed this rivalry like soccer, table tennis, badminton, volleyball and basketball.

    [Q] In an interview, Claude Lemieux mentioned a few thousand fans in attendance during one of the games in China. How was the turnout and the atmosphere during the China Sharks first season? Which was the toughest building to play in?

    [CC] Atmosphere in the building was great. There are plenty of YouTube clips from fans at home games last season in Songjiang as we enjoyed our time there and the community.

    God Bless Claude and his family for letting him come over as he was and is great. He is one of the best people I’ve ever known as he is the consummate professional, and like Mac and Flats gave our team and league a sense of being. I will forever be indebted to my friend Claude as should all hockey people as the game needs more talent and character like Claude.

    The toughest building for the China Sharks to play in was Anyang, home of the Halla team in South Korea. They seemed to be the only team who prepared as if the NHL Sharks were on the ice (laugh). We liked our partners in the AL as we hope to be back soon under a completely separate structure than what is currently in place and unacceptable to us an ownership group.

    [Q] The San Jose Sharks brought a few China Sharks forwards to Oakland Ice for an offseason hockey clinic. San Jose also brought several foreign-born players to China to help solidify the lineup, including player/coach and former San Jose goaltender Wade Flaherty, and 6-foot-7 defenseman/coach Steve McKenna. How difficult was the process of bringing in foreign-born imports to China and the ALIH? Flaherty was named the best goaltender in the league last year, former Stockton Thunder forward Brock Radunske lead the league in goals (29) and points (57), and Jason Beeman lead the China Sharks with 15 goals. How much of an impact of did foreign-born players have on the ice and in the development of the ALIH players elsewhere and in China? Were there any other players that you contacted, or that contacted you, about playing in China or the ALIH?

    [CC] Many ex-NHLers I know want to come to China as the numbers this past off season were very high as we would have been a favorite to win the AL had we gone forward. My plan was two stage: One was to field a development team playing 75-95 games while playing exhibition schedules all season against AL teams and Asian hockey colleges in Japan and South and North Korea. This team would have been 99% Chinese. The AL team would have been 7 Chinese tops with the other 13 players half import and half Japanese. Because of the Sharks name, and because of the exoticness of China, acquiring players was not a problem.

    Import players are China right now which is what is wrong with the current people running Chinese men’s hockey. They do not understand the concept of 3 steps back in the long run equals 15 steps forward. Whether its because of financial interests or ignorance is not important, the Chinese men will never grow until a proven researched national strategy, like what we invested millions in, is fully implemented and the troublemakers are pushed aside.

    This season we would have had 5 former NHL players on the China Sharks roster had we proceeded.

    [Q] Steve McKenna might have the most interesting post-NHL career story of any hockey player to date, going from England to Australia to Italy to Korea. Can you describe how he came to the China Sharks? He also mentioned a persepctive shift when he and Flaherty were riding bikes through the University campus on the way to work. Is an open minded and adventurous mindset needed for former North American or European players to enjoy themselves in the ALIH? What are one or two things that a player might have to deal with playing in China that he would not expect prior to coming over?

    [CC] The minute we were announced as taking over the AL franchise, which by the way was never our goal as we came to China to develop players, coaches and officials and still see this as our mission, I targeted Mac as I knew him well. After our first season when we realized how dysfunctional the system currently in place was I called him and said ‘Mac, you must be in China next season’… I think we agreed to a contract on that phone call. The fact Mac is the national team coach of Australia and has won a World Championship at the helm there also fit our needs of playing and assisting Derek.

    YES, players must be open minded and adventurous to live and play in China… (laugh). The bicycles were my idea as I thought it would be great to have these big guys in their suits riding to and from the arena daily in front of hundreds of thousands of college students.

    Communism and its effects on people in a society that is quickly changing into a full fledged democracy in some ways is a major eye opener. It seemed to me that the players got it very well while the Jr. ministers did, but wanted no part of it and its affect on the average person… (laugh). The absolute lack of understanding of the team game is another. How the game of hockey is really coached and taught is another. How people eat team meals and travel and what is socially acceptable and what is not is another major eye opener. If you factor in what communism’s principals are and add them to these equations you get some very entertaining and interesting results. I am saving the juiciest stories for my book that I am writing on China and team sports.

    Posted in 01_日本語, 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    AL Preseason Shorts + Ichiro

    Posted by simon c on 2009 September 7日 Monday

    • Oji Eagles and Nippon Paper Cranes played a pair of free admission preseason games in Tomakomai, Hokkaido over the weekend. Results were 3-2 and 4-1 for an Oji sweep.
    • Tohoku Free Blades were officially admitted into the league on 5 September. Well, this was just a rubber stamping process since the club is starting out its life on stable grounds.

    freeblades-109788

    • Ex-Seibu Prince Rabbit D Ryuichi Kawai and (probably) his younger brother and ex-Gatineau Olympique Takuma Kawai are going to be on the ice for the University of Lethbridge team’s tryouts, even though they’re both not enrolled with the university. Apparently the training camp has guys trying to crack AHL and ECHL clubs, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare. The brothers are staying and training with ex-Seibu Ryan Fujita whose home is about a 40 minute drive from Lethbridge, Alberta.
    • The immortal Ichiro earned his 2000th Major League hit in style with a double against the A’s. Always a showman who marks special occasions with crafty hits or big bombs more often than his usual slap and dash.

    Mariners Athletics Baseball

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, baseball, ECHL, hockey, information, MLB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Free Blades roster set!

    Posted by simon c on 2009 August 22日 Saturday

    The new entry into the Asia League for the upcoming 2009-10 season, the Tohoku Free Blades, have finally signed enough players to form a complete roster. The new players should significantly improve the team and hopefully not make them a yearlong doormat in their expansion season (since the China Sharks don’t have Wade Flaherty anymore, there’s hope).

    New players:

    F Akiyumi Okuyama 31GP 1G+1A=2P (Oji)

    F Masahito Suzuki 34GP 4+11=15 (Oji)

    F Bin Ishioka 36GP 8+10=18 (Seibu) – Bin’s move to China turned out to be just an unconfirmed rumour

    D Kazumoto Imajo (Chuo University captain – was supposed to join the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits)

    D Steve Munn (AHL/ECHL)

    D Brad Farynuk (AHL/ECHL)

    LW Bruce Mulherin (EIHL/ECHL)

    LW Jon Smyth (Bundesliga 2nd Division)

    All 4 imports are Canadian.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    高橋一馬がハバロフスクに

    Posted by simon c on 2009 August 19日 Wednesday

    どういう伝手では知らないか、昨シーズンまでECHLにいた高橋一馬選手が、今ハバロフスクのKHLアムールの下部チームの練習に参加しています!さすが常に良く考えてる高橋選手、行動力が凄いですね。

    という事で、彼のブログからいくつか抜擢:

    以前、アジアリーグにも加盟していましたハバロフスクの”ゴールデンアムール”ですが、現在はオーナーが変わり、KHLというリーグへ参戦しています。そこのファームチームへの練習参加のためにこちらに来ています。さすがにKHLに所属するトップチームへの参加は厳しかったです。

    http://kaz78.com/article/125490977.html

    さて、こちらでの生活サイクルは
    9:15~10:30 氷上
    10:50~11:50 陸トレ
    17:00~18:30 氷上
    という感じです。

    日本でもかなりバタバタした生活をしていましたが、こちらではやれることが限られているので練習に忙しいもののホッケーに集中して生活することができています。

    まだまだ、数日しか体感していないロシアホッケーだし、1チームしか知りませんが、簡単な北米との違いの印象としては、

    アメリカ・カナダ=『点数を入れるために、勝つために練習をする、常にサバイバル』
    ロシア=『アイスホッケーがうまくなるために練習をする、アイスホッケーを通して生活・物事の考え方を教育』

    http://kaz78.com/article/125636736.html

    ロシア語の『バーニョ』はサウナ!!
    リンクの片隅にサウナ室があり、みんなキツキツに入りながら、文字通り裸の付き合い。
    サウナに入って一週間の疲れを労わりました。

    サウナ入らない人には分からないと思うんですが、サウナでは頭って結構熱くなって大変なんですよ。
    その防止のために、なんとここではあのロシア製の帽子が登場!!
    こんな熱い中でこの防寒帽子なんて、はじめギャグかと思っていると何人もかぶりながら入ってきて、しまいには自分もかぶるはめに。

    こんな熱い中でこの暑苦しい防止かよ、しかも裸にこの帽子って!!

    と思いながらかぶったら、意外に快適。しかも、
    お前もロシア人の仲間入り!!
    みたいな雰囲気になり、大うけ!!
    ちょっと距離感が縮まったかな??
    裸にロシア帽子で今日のスキンシップは妙な光景だったでしょう。

    ついでに、サウナでロシア語講座開催されましたが、のぼせてほとんど頭に入ってなかったです。
    ロシア語は本当難しいです。
    はっきり言ってまったくしゃべれないし、聞き取れませんからね。
    大変ですよ。

    http://kaz78.com/article/125773106.html

    さて、ロシア語がさっぱりちんぷんかんぷんな私ですが、ここでは日本語がほぼ完璧な、日本語通訳を仕事としているワロージャさんという方のおうちにホームスティさせていただき、生活しています。
    まさに、スーパーひとし君なのです。
    ですので、練習のメニューは少し早めに行ってコーチの聞き、生活面でも言葉のストレスがほぼないくらいにサポートしてもらい生活しています。食事やロシアの文化の話などもたくさん情報もらっています。

    欲を言えば、氷上でも通訳してもらえれば完璧ですが、そこまで甘えられないです。

    選手では、数人英語を話せる選手もいるので、英語を聞くと安心してそちらに頼ってしまいがちになりますが、自分自身でも、覚えられるだけロシア語を理解して生活できるようにして行かないと・・・・・。

    http://kaz78.com/article/125904372.html

    なんか、凄い充実してるみたいですね。常にチャレンジ精神旺盛の高橋選手には頭が下がります。今季のチーム探しが順調に行っている事を祈っています。もしかして今年はロシアリーグ(KHLは無理だろうけど)?

    Posted in 01_日本語, ECHL, hockey, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    The Cranes lone import

    Posted by simon c on 2009 August 14日 Friday

    The Nippon Paper Cranes will attempt to defend their Asia League title with only one import player, as the team has signed defenceman Pierre-Olivier Beaulieu as their lone import for the upcoming 2009-10 campaign.

    Beaulieu

    Beaulieu is a big defenceman at 195cm 97kg and had success in the ECHL and the 2nd division of German Bundesliga. But the production of Brad Tiley (D, 36GP 25P) and Kelly Fairchild (F, 20GP 23P), who were both NHL veterans, will be missed (though the team is stacked with great Asia Leaguers including Japanese-Canadians). Will the younger (and supposedly cheaper) Beaulieu be productive enough for the Cranes to defend their title, or will going cheap and young on their import cost the Cranes the title again? (In the 2007-08 season, the Cranes replaced their ineffective cheap imports with NHL vets Jamie McLennan and Tyson Nash midseason.)

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    福藤選手のチャリティーイベント 6/21千葉

    Posted by simon c on 2009 June 15日 Monday

    福藤選手がチャリティーイベントを開催しようとしています。そこで、アジアリーグでプレーする他の選手たちにも声をかけたところ、趣旨に賛同してくれて、イベントに参加してくれることになりました! 
    観戦だけであれば参加費無料ですので、皆様のご来場を楽しみにしております。 
    また、出来るだけたくさんの方々にこういった活動に関して知っていただきたいので、以下の情報を色々なところで話題にしていただけると幸いです。 
    宜しくお願いいたします。 


    日本人初のNHLプレーヤー・福藤豊の呼びかけによる、 
    チャリティー・アイスホッケー・イベントを開催いたします 

    ――アイスホッケーを通じて世界を変える“最初の一歩”を―― 

    日本人で初めてNHL(北米プロアイスホッケーリーグ)でプレーしたアイスホッケー選手であり、日本を代表するゴールキーパーでもある福藤豊(フクフジ・ユタカ)の呼びかけによる、初めてのチャリティー・アイスホッケー・イベントを6月21日(日)に千葉県・「アクアリンクちば」にて開催致します。 
    米国のプロアイスホッケーリーグでプレーしてきた福藤選手は、現地でのチャリティーイベント参加による経験や、TV等で世界の多くの子どもたちが傷ついている現実を知り、「自分にも何かできないか」と想いを強くしておりました。 
    「1人が社会のためにできることは小さいが、まずははじめの一歩を踏みだそうよ」という彼の思いにちなんで「Take The First Step 」と名付けたこの組織は、アイスホッケーを通して世界の子どもたちを支援するために活動してまいります。 
    そして、その活動の第一弾として、今回アイスホッケーを通じたチャリティーイベントを行うこととなり、彼のその想いに賛同し、元チームメイトや友人、スタッフが集まりました。当日、会場で開催されるチャリティーゲームに福藤選手他、日本を代表するアイスホッケー選手が登場いたします 
    今チャリティーイベントの収益金から、諸経費を除いた全額を、世界中の紛争で傷ついた子どもたちを支援している「ドイツ国際平和村」に寄付いたします。 
    ぜひチャリティーの趣旨にご賛同いただき、ご参加・ご協力をいただければ幸甚です。 

    皆様のご参加を心よりお待ちしております。 


    「FACE OFF 2009 ~自分にできる最初の第一歩~ in千葉」 
    チャリティーイベント開催のお知らせ 

    【日時】2009年6月21日(日) 
    18:15~20:00(18:00開場予定) 

    【場所】アクアリンクちば(千葉県美浜区新港224-1) 
    お問い合わせ:045-474-1112   
    ホームページ:http://www.aquarink-chiba.jp/
    電車アクセス: 
    ①JR総武線稲毛駅(西口)5番バス停 アクアリンクちば行き終点 約18分 
    ②JR京葉線稲毛海岸駅(南口)2番バス停 アクアリンクちば行き終点 約8分 


    車アクセス:  
    ① 東京方面からご利用の方は東関東自動車道、湾岸習志野ICをご利用ください。 
    ② 市原・木更津方面からご利用の方は京葉道路穴川ICをご利用ください。 
    ③ 国道14号・同357号 
    ・市原方面からは、黒砂陸橋下の信号を左折 
    ・東京方面からは、稲毛陸橋の次の信号を右折 
    *駐車場無料 合計440台 

    【内容】 
    ① アイスホッケーのアジアリーグや海外リーグでプレーしている現役日本人選手OB選手数名と一般から公募して集まったプレーヤーとチャリティーホッケーゲームを開催する。 
    ② チャリティーホッケーゲーム実施会場にて募金活動を実施する。 

    必要経費を除いた収益の全額をドイツ国際平和村へ寄付致します。  

    -ドイツ国際平和村とは- 
    紛争地域や危機に瀕した地域の子どもたちへの医療援助を行なう為、ドイツの市民によって1967年7月に設立。紛争で傷ついた子どもたち、病気の子どもたちの治療をヨーロッパで行っているほか、紛争地域・危機的状況にある地域での援助活動(プロジェクト)、現地での医療状況の改善を目指して活動を行っている。また平和村の紹介を通して、平和への関心を高めるための活動も行っている。 

    【対象】プレーヤー:15歳以上の男女(中学生3年生以上) 
    観戦:どなたでも可能 

    【定員】プレーヤー:15名(応募多数の場合は抽選となります) 
    *参加についてのご連絡や、抽選結果は6/18(木)以降にメールにてお送りいたします。 

    *参加資格:男女とも心身ともに健康で、アイスホッケーがプレー出来る方 

    *募集ポジション:フォワード及びディフェンスのみ 
    (ゴールキーパーは対象外とさせていただきます) 

    観戦:定員300名。定員を超えた場合、ご覧になれない場合がございます 

    【参加費】プレーヤー:8,000円(保険代を含む) 
    *当日は、受付で現金でお支払い下さい 
    観戦:無料 

    【持ち物】アイスホッケー防具一式、黒色か白色のユニフォーム及び練習ジャー     ジ 
    *スケートを含む、一切のアイスホッケー防具の貸し出しは行っていません 

    【申し込み・お問い合わせ】 
    Take The First Step事務局 
    Email:takethefirststep@hotmail.co.jp 
    TEL: 03-3400-8305【(有)アスリートバンク内】 

    【プレーヤーお申し込み方法】 
    下記の①~⑦についてご記入の上、上記メールアドレスまでお申込み下さい 
    ① 住所 ② 氏名 ③ 電話番号(自宅・携帯) ④ Eメールアドレス(パソコン・携帯) ⑤ 年齢 ⑥ 性別 ⑦ アイスホッケー歴(例:5年) ⑧ 所属チーム ⑨ ポジション 
    *いただいた個人情報は適切に管理し、「チャリティーホッケーゲーム」の参加当選通知のみに使用いたします。 

    【締め切り】6月18日(木)

    【参加予定選手】 
    以下の選手たちが、「Take The First Step」の活動理念に賛同し参加を決定してくれました。 

    ゴールキーパー   
    福藤 豊(フクフジ・ユタカ(:デスティル・トラッパーズ(オランダ) 
    白鳥 洋(シラトリ・ヒロシ):日光アイスバックス 
    池田 豊(イケダ・ユタカ):元日光アイスバックス 

    ディフェンス   
    大久保 智仁(オオクボ・トモヒト):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    山口 和良(ヤマグチ・カズヨシ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    尾野 貴之(オノ・タカユキ):アニャン・ハルラ(韓国) 
    萩原 優吾(ハギワラ・ユウゴ):日光アイスバックス 

    フォワード   
    田中 豪(タナカ・ゴウ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    増子 秀司(マスコ・シュウジ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    佐藤 画(サトウ・カク):チャイナ・シャークス 
    佐藤 正和(サトウ・マサカズ):チャイナ・シャークス 
    小林 弘典(コバヤシ・ヒロノリ):日光アイスバックス 
    瀬高 哲雄(セタカ・テツオ):日光アイスバックス 
    衣笠 伸正(キヌガサ・ノブマサ):元日光アイスバックス 
    *上野 拓紀(ウエノ・ヒロキ):元西武プリンスラビッツ【早稲田大学出身】 
    *河合 卓真(カワイ・タクマ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    【ガティーノー・オリンピック(QMJHL カナダ)出身】 

    *上野選手、河合選手は西武プリンスラビッツに入部が決定していたが、チームが廃部となったため、アジアリーグでのプレー経験は無。 
    *選手のイベントへの参加については、当日の選手のコンディションにより中止となる可能性があります。

    【参加選手】近日中に発表いたします 

    【その他】オフィシャルホームページは準備中です 


    Take The First Step (テイク・ザ・ファースト・ステップ) 
    Email:takethefirststep@hotmail.co.jp 
    TEL: 03-3400-8305【(有)アスリートバンク内】

    Posted in 01_日本語, ECHL, hockey, information, Japan, NHL | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Fukufuji to play in Holland

    Posted by simon c on 2009 May 28日 Thursday

    26 year old goalie Yutaka Fukufuji has signed with Dutch club DESTIL Trappers of Tilburg. He hopes that this move will open doors for him to move around in Europe aiming for higher leagues in Germany, Italy, France, etc. Fukufuji and the Trappers’ new coach Mark Pederson were together with the Bakersfield Condors last season. Fukufuji did not receive an offer to re-sign with the team, but he did not make the reason clear in his blog. He considered returning to Japan, but he feared that once he gets back here, that he would never challenge himself again abroad.

    Despite the fact that he sunk when thrown into NHL waters prematurely when the LA Kings wanted to avoid having Jason LaBarbera claimed off waivers, Fukufuji did put up respectable numbers in the AHL when given the chance. But I guess he felt frustrated that he was not being given a chance to perform at a higher level in North America despite performing well on mediocre teams.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, Japan, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Fukufuji next season

    Posted by simon c on 2009 May 24日 Sunday

    First ever Japanese NHL player and ECHL Bakersfield Condors goalie Yutaka Fukufuji has hinted on his blog that he’s looking outside America for a team to play next season. With his former Asia League team Kokudo/Seibu team folded, I’m not sure whether he means a return to Japan (the newly formed Tohoku Free Blades? Very unlikely), move to Europe (ECHL goalie would translate to second division in an elite nation?), or maybe he’s just yanking our chain and is looking into Canada 😛

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Cranes Win! Seibu goes into history

    Posted by simon c on 2009 March 26日 Thursday

    Monday 23 March 2009, Higashifushimi, Tokyo.

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    Game 7 of the 2009 Asia League Ice Hockey Finals. The full house witnessed history.

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    This was going to be the final game for the Seibu Prince Rabbits (formerly Kokudo and Seibu Railway hockey teams) no matter the team won or lost against the Nippon Paper Cranes. The two teams have been waging an epic battle for the championship with Seibu coming back from being down 1-3 in the series to force the deciding game.

    In fact, the Cranes themselves came back from being down 2-3 in their semifinals against Anyang Halla of Korea to reach the finals, and before that they dispatched the other Korean team in the league, High1, in the play-in round of the playoffs with a 2 game sweep (best of 3). Meanwhile, Seibu swept the semifinals against the Oji Eagles, but all games were decided by a 1 goal margin (excluding the empty netters).

    Game 7 started off quickly, like Game 6, on a Cranes goal as Darcy Mitani opened the game in the 4th minute with a power play tally. But unlike Game 6, the first period did not turn into a wild goalfest, and both teams played solidly, though not without chances.

    Crane (and former Seibu/Kokudo) Chris Yule sitting alone in the Cranes bench after the first period.

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    The Cranes added 2 more goals in the 2nd period and seemingly already wrote the end of the history for the Seibu hockey club. But captain Takahito Suzuki came out huge for Seibu as he scored with 4 seconds left in the period assisted by retiring Kiyoshi Fujita (thanks Ryan! you were the best player in the league for a long time, Theo Fleury of Japan in the best sense, and lots of fun to watch, you’ll be missed) and Daisuke Obara. This was a huge goal as going into the second intermission being 2 goals or 3 goals down makes a massive difference to team morale. 

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    In the third period, Seibu continued to pressure and kept on peppering the Cranes net with shots but Cranes goalie Hisashi Ishikawa totally stood on his head as he saved 54 of 56 shots (!) on net to earn the victory and championship for the Cranes.

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    Congratulations, the 2009 champion Cranes! And thank you Seibu for all the memories! (and hopefully the team will survive in one form or another and elite level hockey will be played in Tokyo next season.)

    Playoff MVP Hisashi Ishikawa who backstopped the Cranes to the championship capped off by his herculean efforts in Game 7. Ishikawa played 14 of the Cranes 16 playoff games, and was a well deserving recepient of the award.

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    Joel Dyck Oshiro holding up the AL Championship trophy properly (that is, sideways)

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    More random photos and videos from the game follows this break:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »