Hidekazu TAKAYA

#39

  • Nationality: Japan

    Position:

    Shoots: Left

    BIO

    Hometown: Sapporo, Japan
    Nickname: Eddie
    Member of the TCHC from 1995 to April 2004 (founding member)

    Eddie attended his first ever hockey game during the 1972 Winter Olympics at Makomanai Arena in his hometown of Sapporo, Japan. The teams were USA vs Sweden. He saw the same two teams play at the 1998 Nagano Olympics as well.

    As a youngster Eddie’s family moved to the rough-and-tumble prairies where he grew up Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It must have been an eye opener to play hockey in a province that eventually produced many of the toughest hockey players in NHL history. Of course there was Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, but from Eddie’s era the greatest fighters were guys like Wendel Clark, Dave Brown, Joey Kocur, Tony Twist, Kelly Chase. Some of them formed The Toughest Team There Ever Was (well worth the 8-minute watch).

    After graduating from Simon Fraser University, Eddie moved back to Japan in 1994, to work for Ingersoll-Rand in Tokyo. He participated in the first ever games with the Tokyo Canadians in Ikaho, Gunma in August 1995. (See History of the Team in the About Us section of this site.)

    Eddie chose to wear jersey #39 in honor of his high school senpai, Brian Skrudland. Undrafted, Skrudland was working at a Safeway in Saskatoon bagging groceries when he signed as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens and wore #39 when the Habs won the Stanley Cup in 1986.

    Eddie played in number of tournaments with the TCHC: in Hong Kong (2), Bangkok (2) and Kuala Lumpur. He played a hard-nosed prairie style of game that surprised many foreign players who were not used to such a tough Japanese player. They got even more surprised when he chirped back in very colourful English!

    While toiling in the Tokyo S-league and skating with the Canadians, Eddie gained his MBA from McGill University, Japan as part of the first graduating class in 2000. In 2004 he returned to Canada (Kitchener) and then moved to New York in 2015.

    Eddie married Yuko in 1998, they have a daughter, Erin, who graduated International Christian University (ICU) in 2023 and who now works in Naha for Expedia Japan. Later came son Rik who is now a second year Applied Science student at UBC in Vancouver. Rik has followed his dad’s path and is a good hockey player in his own right. We expect him to suit up with the TCHC someday to continue the tradition of second generation players skating with the team.

    Even at an advanced age, Eddie still plays in a 50+ men’s league team in New York, coaches a 12U travel team and is a USA Hockey referee.