As Paul Park of Seoul, South Korea watched last night as his son Richard played his 631st game in the National Hockey League, you have to wonder if he took a step back and reflected on his American journey.
Mr. Park and his wife moved their family – including three-year-old Richard and his older brother and two sisters – from Korea to Los Angeles in 1979. The Parks moved not because they had to, but to keep their immediate family together. Richard’s mom is one of eight children, and all of them had moved from Korea to California.
Paul Park was a lawyer in Seoul. The language barrier too difficult to overcome in LA, Paul became a business owner. He bought a supermarket in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles and still owns and operates it thirty years later. Richard never worked much in the market much because his parents allowed him to pursue a career in hockey, which later necessitated the teenager leaving California for Ontario to play junior hockey.
“My dad is hard-working, honest, positive, very smart,” says Richard, the veteran Islanders forward who inherited all of the above. “What I really admire about him is that he genuinely likes people.
“He’s been on a few of these trips with the Islanders and it’s a highlight for both of us. There’s really no way for me to thank my dad enough. He gave me an opportunity to follow my dreams.”
It’s Rolo’s Ball: Dwayne Roloson has now started seven of the last ten games and continues to play brilliantly and, you know, just not lose. There’s no reason to do anything else accept ride him three out of four games. Martin Biron has been fine, a first-class pro getting the short end of his team’s offensive production. But it is what it is and Roloson is this team’s No. 1 starter. The time to talk about or build up Biron’s trade value is not when you’re in the playoff hunt and Roloson is playing superbly. Roloson is also the incumbent No. 1 should Rick DiPietro make a healthy return. This is his job to lose.
The Father Effect: There hasn’t been a consistent trend to how the Islanders have performed on these dads’ trips over the last decade. I recall a particular stinker in Florida a couple of years ago by a good Islanders team. It was so bad, I remember thinking during the third period this just might bury the whole concept. Good on Charles Wang for footing the large bill in the spirit of team-building and dad-thanking. If the Islanders have another good one in Tampa Bay, the dads might have to extend their stay to Philadelphia and Toronto.
The Best Left Side?: On the umpteenth re-run of an interview show last night, Clark Gillies caught my attention. (You’d think I’d know the show by heart by now). Talking about the Islanders dynasty, Gillies said he’ll take his team’s left side over any in hockey. The left wings were Gillies, John Tonelli, Bob Bourne and Anders Kallur. Not too shabby.
The Lions of the Lighthouse: The Lighthouse Twitter page used to be a must-follow for completely biased, but timely updates on the status of the Coliseum project. But when we talk about things being quiet around Lighthouseland, there’s no better illustration than Twitter. Where you used to see some chippy stuff – “Check out this post comparing Kate Murray to Walter O’Malley” – the Twitter feed now goes days without updates or is used for personal rants: “Stafford picked off for second time by Traman Williams.” Today’s post is for a New York Post writer’s coverage of…high school sports. Somebody’s buddy, I assume. Yikes. Thought this was the biggest proposed development since the days of Robert Moses.
My pal, the relentless Katrina Doell from the LDC, has not posted an updated on her Lighthouse blog in three weeks. Since the Lighthouse is in a news blackout, why not tell everyone the pages are shut down indefinitely? That would really stir it up.
DiPietro Coverage: Just a reminder that Point Blank will be in Bridgeport on Saturday for the first game in Rick DiPietro’s attempted comeback. I’ll be counting on you in Comments for some updates of the Islanders’ game in Tampa Bay. DiPietro and Stephen Valiquette (with Hartford) back in the American Hockey League…it’s like 2000 all over again. DiPietro and the Sound Tigers host Springfield on Saturday at 7:00 pm at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Tickets are available, and every seat in the barn is a good seat.
Point Blank Night Wednesday: The big event is scheduled for this coming Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Free buffet prepared by Danny Gagnon of “Top Chef” and $1 Bud and Bud Light drafts from 7-8 pm. Complimentary shots after each Islanders goal. Raffle, including Islanders tickets and a John Tavares jersey. All ages welcome. 21 and over to drink. SOCIAL is at 1002 Hempstead Turnpike across the street from the Coliseum. Look like we’ll have a nice guest or two I’m sure some of you will enjoy seeing. If you can make it, let me know here and/or on Facebook.
Matchup: I’ve had some fun with Scott Gordon’s comment about Dwayne Roloson matching up well with Atlanta because at 40 years of age and with all his accomplishments, Roloson matches up fine with just about any team. But by the way the Islanders won on Nov. 7 in an open game at home and last night in a tighter one on the road, I think it’s safe to say the Islanders match up well with the Thrashers.
Tampa Bay, I’m not so sure, but these Islanders keep surprising us.
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