California Hockey Players

This is Lee Norwood, an NHL defenseman for over 500 games with various teams in the 80s and early 90s. Norwood is one of a very few NHL players who hail from California.

I count Craig Coxe, Craig Ferguson, David Roberts, Gabe Gauthier, Jeremy Stevenson, John Blue, John Emmons, Noah Clarke, Ralph Barahona, Roy Sommer, Ryan Hollweg, Scott Parker, Steve Tepper, Brooks Orpik, Chris Ahrens, Matt Hervey, Mike Lampman, Rik Wilson and Tim Friday as the 19 California-born NHL players (if you can add to the list please do).

The Oilers have invited a Californian to their rookie camp.
Bryan Dobek is a RW from Escondido. He’s 5-10, 185, 24 years old and is on a PTO contract with the Oilers.

He played in the ECHL and some league called the SPHL last season. I don’t know much about him except that he went to college at Bowling Green.

Did you know the Everly Brothers had a song called Bowling Green maybe 40 years ago? Lyrics:

Way down in Bowling Green
Prettiest girls I’ve ever seen
A man in Kentucky
Sure is lucky
To live down in Bowling Green
Bowling Green folks treat you kind
They let you think your own mind
A man in Kentucky
Sure is lucky
In Bowling Green you walk your own line
Kentucky sunshine makes the heart unfold
It warms the body
And I know it touches the soul
Bluegrass is fine
Kentucky owns my mind
The fields down in Bowling Green
Have the softest grass i’ve ever seen
A man in Kentucky
Sure is lucky
To lie down in Bowling Green

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12 Responses to "California Hockey Players"

  1. Smith says:

    Great tune, too – from the post “Cathy’s Clown” Warner era.

    Ching !

  2. Lowetide says:

    Holy crap! I honestly didn’t think anyone would have heard it. I’m listening to it now, and will slide into “Wings of a Nightingale” and then “So Sad to watch good love go bad” and sing along with Don and Phil until the neighbor dog starts to howl. :-)

  3. Smith says:

    It’s one of my favourites.

    Don and Phil – those cheekbones, that barely restrained violence.

    About 20 years before my time, but pure gold all the same.

  4. James L. says:

    My favorites from that era of Don & Phil’s catalogue are “It Only Costs a Dime” and “Love is Strange”. Two pieces of perfect pop.

  5. Smith says:

    Sort of on-topic-ish, wasn’t there a recent high draft pick who played the majority of his minor hockey in Los Angeles ?

    Don’t think he was born in CA but I’m sure he came out of the L.A. minor hockey system…

    I used to go to the Mac’s every winter when I was in Calgary and L.A. used to send some strong teams that didn’t look at all out of place amongst the strongest midget teams in Canada and the U.S.

    Watch out for Texas in the coming years, too – what the Stars have done in Dallas for minor hockey is incredible, I figure we’ll start to see kids coming outta that system in the next 5-10 years or so.

    Wasn’t Leetch from Corpus Christi ?

  6. Bank Shot says:

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    Jonathon Blum was just picked by Nashville this year making him the first Califoria born-and-trained hockey player to be picked in the first round.

  7. voxel says:

    Neko Case does an awesome cover of it too…

  8. Smith says:

    Ah, found it.

    Bobby Ryan was the player I was thinking of.

    Born in NJ, moved to Los Angeles when he was 11 and played in the Jr. Kings system until heading to Owen Sound in the O.

  9. IceDragoon says:

    Good evening, all.

    I liked “Bowling Green” well enough, but this is the Everly Brothers song that does it for me.

    Altho, here’s the way I remember it.

    I’m old… ;-p

    I was blessed with an aunt and uncle who could harmonize with the angels. They loved me, and sang it every time I asked… and I asked every time they sang.


  10. kanadienkyle says:

    Following up on Smith’s post, Texas may indeed be a hotbed of hockey talent in the very soon. The USHL Futures draft is becoming Texas and California heavy.

  11. ColBerdan says:

    One minor detail though: the Bowling Green State University that Dobek went to is in Ohio, not Kentucky…

  12. Chris Bayee says:

    Five more players to add to your list, and I know these for sure because I’ve spoken to most of them recently:

    Ducks F Bobby Ryan (played youth hockey here)
    Wings D Garrett Stafford (played this season)
    Isles F Richard Park (played here til 14)
    Leafs F Robbie Earl (played youth hockey here)
    Thrashers F Brett Sterling (born an d raised in CA)

    Scott Parker was born in California but grew up in Alaska. He didn’t play much at all in CA. I think, but am not certain, that Brooks Orpik is in the same category.

    You’ve got a great list compiled!

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