Something unusual happened in the National Hockey League on Sunday night. Los Angeles Kings prospect Yukata Fukufuji realized a lifelong dream on Saturday afternoon by becoming the first Japanese-born and raised player to sit on the bench for an NHL game.
Joe Pelletier takes a look at the history of hockey in Japan, a sport officially played since 1929. Some of the highlights Pelletier looks at include: the 1972 and 1998 Olympics, host by Sapporo and Nagano, respectively; Teiji Honma, a mask wearing goalie in the 1936 Olympics, years before Jacques Plante; and some of the greatest players in Japanese hockey history, including Osamu Wakabayashi, Vladimir Shadrin, Vyacheslav Starshinov, Randy Gregg and Darryl Sutter.
Nope, I'm not kidding. Check it out at International Hockey Legends.