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Exotic hockey? Oduya suits up in Thailand

Oct 31, 2012, 6:08 PM EDT

Johnny Oduya Getty Images

When guys look to get away to play hockey, some are taking it to extremes. Case in point, Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya.

As Justin Bourne from Backhand Shelf shares, Oduya is off to Thailand to work out and play for a men’s league team there looking to win a championship in the South Pacific.

Oduya’s motivation to go there for hockey comes from looking to both work and play in the same place as he shares with the Bangkok Post.

“I wanted to do something different because I am not playing,” he said.

“I wanted to come back to Thailand for a while. It is a big holiday spot for Swedish people to go when it gets colder back home.”

While on vacation, he hooked up with a team called the Flying Farangs to play in the 2012 Land of Smiles Ice Hockey Tournament. A tropical paradise where hockey is played for charity? Sounds pretty good to me.

  1. bjbeliever - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    playing for charity orrrr Thai hookers

  2. hockinj25 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    What exactly is a Flying Farang?

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 1, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      From Into-Asia.com:

      “Even if you can speak no other words of Thai, most European and American visitors to Thailand will quickly become familiar with the Thai word farang, often mispronounced (even by Thais) as falang. Farang, with a slightly trilled ‘r,’ is the correct pronunciation. It’s basically used to describe Caucasians, though African-Americans will sometimes also be known as farang or as farang dam (black farang). Farang is also the Thai word for the guava fruit, so you can expect to hear farang eating farang jokes if you happen to purchase any.”

      Of course if you don’t speak Thai then you won’t understand the jokes, which is probably for the better. So a Flying Farang is a pretty good take on white guys playing hockey. What kind of league are they in? Well, in trying to win their third City of Angels crown in five years, they got stoned by the goaltender from the Finnish club Ukkometsot, Mika Rantanen, who is 62 years old. It’s a 35-and-over league, but still….

      The highest-profile player in the tourney was Jay North, a Minnesota high-school stand-out who was selected 63rd overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1980 entry draft, ahead of future NHL stars like Jari Kurri, Bernie Nicholls, Steve Larmer, Steve Kasper, Hakan Loob & Andy Moog. His NHL career never did pan out, but people still talk about the way he dazzled the crowd in his high school days.

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