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 😛
Posts Tagged ‘goalie’
Posted by simon c on 2009 May 24日 Sunday
Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: bakersfield, condors, free blades, Fukufuji, goalie, kings, Kokudo, LA, los angeles, prince rabbits, seibu, tohoku, yutaka | 2 Comments »
Posted by simon c on 2009 March 3日 Tuesday
Posted by simon c on 2009 February 20日 Friday
The best-of-3 play-in round between 4th place Nippon Paper Cranes and High1 finished in a blowout for the Cranes, sweeping the series with 5-2 and 8-4 wins. Now the semifinals pits the rested Anyang Halla (the first non-Japanese team to top the regular season standings) against the battle worn Cranes, and soon to fold Seibu Prince Rabbits against the Oji Eagles. They both should be dandy series, and with the balanced schedule this past season, Halla’s record is for real and I’m looking for them progressing to the finals! (And for Seibu to have its last hurrah in addition to them winning the 2009 All Japan Championship in an exciting 6-5 final against the Cranes.)
In other Japanese hockey news, with the Seibu group officially pulling the plug on its hockey team, there will be a memorial alumni game to be held at the DyDo Drinco Arena in Higashifushimi, Tokyo, on 28 March. The match should feature Kokudo and Seibu Railway legends such as the Wakabayashi brothers, Herb and Mel.
And in Harbin 2009 Universiade news, Japan won 3-2 over China, with Eri Kiribuchi notching her first win turning aside 26 of 28 shots in a much better performance from the previous day’s game where she allowed 4 goals on 23 shots against Finland in a shutout loss. Without playing any official games this season, she seems to have secured the starter’s position on Team Japan, way to go Eri! The men were lucklustre in their 1-4 loss to Slovakia on their opening game of the tournament.
And finally, the newly formed Tohoku Free Blades is going to ice a team for the first time in the next few weeks. First an exhibition match (three 15 minute periods) against the Nikko IceBucks of the Asia League on the Bucks’ fan appreciation day on 11am 28 February at the Nikko Kirifuri Arena. This event will cost 1000 yen and it will be a good measure to see if the team can be competitive in the Asia League. The Blades will also be making an appearance (normal rules) against western Japan amateur powerhouse Surpass Kagawa at 8pm 6 March in Miki City, Kagawa Surpass Sports Center Arena. Let’s hope this helps Blades pass the muster to enter the Asia League, as the uncertain future of Seibu means that a new Japanese team in the league will be a much needed infusion.
Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, JIHF, opinion, statistics, tokyo | Tagged: alumni, anabuki, china, cranes, eagles, eri, finland, free blades, goalie, High1, Ice Bucks, icebucks, kagawa, kiribuchi, Kokudo, miki, nikko, nippon paper, Oji, playoff, playoffs, prince rabbits, railway, seibu, slovakia, surpass, tohoku, universiade | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2009 February 18日 Wednesday
Eri Kiribuchi (long bio here), whose blog is right here (Japanese), is competing in the Winter Universiade 2009 which started in Harbin, China today. We’ll see if she starts in goal, to the best of my knowledge she still hasn’t started an official game for Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where she is competing with two other freshmen goalies to be the starter.
She’s a very interesting case for a Japanese hockey player, having left Japan with her family shortly after the 1998 Nagano Olympics, falling in love with hockey, specifically Czech hockey. The whole family moved to Prague to pursue the kids’ hockey dreams. After attending an athletics high school in the Czech Republic, Eri’s managed to secure herself a scholarship in an NCAA Division I school. Eri has been the most successful one, having managed this national team call up, but her brother Yuto has been no slouch either playing in the Czech Extraliga 2nd division club HK Lev Slaný. While Eri is playing in the highest level of women’s hockey in NCAA Division I, the rest of her family remains in Prague operating a B&B (Japanese). She’s fluent trilingual, has appeared in a cosmetics commercial in Europe 😛 , is a promising goalie for Japan’s future, so it is good to see that the national hockey program is looking overseas for promising talent. Good luck!
Posted by simon c on 2008 November 6日 Thursday
I spent my formative years in Nepean (now part of Ottawa) with my relatives and we lived next door to Fred Brathwaite‘s family. By the time I moved to Nepean, Fred was already an OHL player, so I only saw him occasionally during the summers. Even though I’d followed the NHL back then, it didn’t quite register with me that my next door neighbour was an NHL player by the time I graduated high school. He was such a laid back and easy going guy, just a nice neighbour with a beemer 🙂 that I didn’t even think about asking for autographs (I’m not an autograph type anyways). His hockey career has taken him all over, from the OHL, to Edmonton and other NHL teams and their AHL and IHL affliates, to Russia, and now to Germany. Great to hear that he’s doing well, leading the DEL in save percentage, awesome! 😀 (My cousin claims to have raised Fred’s skill level through their road hockey days 😛 )
Hockey Night in Europe: Fred Brathwaite, at Home Abroad
That’s where we pick up Brathwaite’s story again, standing between the Mannheim pipes when the second-place Düsseldorf MetroStars come to town:
Then came the 2004-05 N.H.L. lockout, and Brathwaite made his way to Ak Bars Kazan in what was then the Russian Superliga. But unlike most N.H.L.’ers, Brathwaite stayed on after the lockout ended, and in 2006 he manned the nets for 11 playoff games as Ak Bars won the Russian championship. After stints with the Chicago Wolves in the A.H.L. and Avangard Omsk in Russia, he moved to the German DEL this year to play for one of its most prominent teams, Adler Mannheim.
Fred Brathwaite spent 11 years in the N.H.L. as a backup goalie in Edmonton, Calgary, St. Louis and even Columbus, with a fair chunk of time in the minor leagues as well. In all that time, he played just three playoff games.
Adler Mannheim 4-0 DEG Metro Stars. A 47-save shutout by Fred Brathwaite blunts the Metros’ drive for first. It’s the fifth shutout of the season for the 35-year-old Ottawan, who leads the DEL with a .936 save percentage. Summary
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 21日 Monday
Overkill? He’s awfully good at mimicking the Kipper’s every move though, maybe he can become a character actor when he grows up… but only in roles as the Kipper 😛
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 15日 Tuesday
… and on the other end of the hockey economic spectrum we have the, it’s been over 40 years since their last Cup, Toronto Maple Leafs.
I echo the second comment on this mirtle blog entry, as if the gigantic hockey economy of GTA cannot support another NHL franchise because the area is populated only with Leaf fans, willing to literally pay through the nose for some atrocious hockey, and no one else. MLSE is doing a mighty fine job retaining their monopoly on their ginormous hockey market.
But when I tried to explain to the locals just how unaffordable tickets in Toronto were, I couldn’t quite do it justice. You can say “$400 a seat” all you want, but that doesn’t take into account the licence fees and everything else that corporate tickets holders pony up at the Air Canada Centre.
Which is why it’s a good thing Rick Westhead gives us a glimpse at just what people are paying for Maple Leafs tickets (as part of a story on shady ticket-selling deals going down at the parent company):
“He (the MLSE sales employee) wanted to meet at the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop on the 401 in Milton,” Tanguay said. “I met him, gave him the envelope with the cash, and a cheque for $65,000 and had him sign the invoice indicating the cash was part of the deal, too.”
Besides $40,000 to cover the cost of the personal-seat licence, which gave him the right to buy tickets from MLSE, Tanguay agreed to pay $25,000 for the Leafs and Raptors tickets themselves.
Now, what our friend here is buying is two season’s tickets to the Leafs and Raptors in the lower bowl.
In addition to $40,000 up front for the licence, another $25,000 per season pays for a grand total of two tickets to 82 games (41 for each team), which works out to about $160 a seat. It’s safe to assume the Leafs tickets would be worth considerably more than the Raptors, likely in the range of $230+ apiece.
And our buyer was desperately waiting on a list somewhere to shell that money out (not to mention the part about meeting at a truck stop with $5,000 cash).
These are not the best seats in the house by any means: The red section is behind one net, from the halfway point of the lower bowl on up.
Ah well, at least the Leafs are featured in one promising silly thing. Mike Myers + Jessica Alba + Justin Timberlake + Toronto Maple Leafs = ?
Well, Love Guru may or may not be funny, but this sure is:
Posted in 02_English, culture, hockey, information, NHL, opinion | Tagged: canadian, clark, economics, goalie, gta, jessica alba, justin timberlake, leafs, love guru, maple, mike myers, mirtle, movie, price, season, shady, ticket, toronto, youtube | 1 Comment »