Tears From The Hockey Gods, Not Raindrops, Are Falling On Southern California

LOS ANGELES — For most people here in Southern California, the region has been drenched by rain the past few days. But if you are involved with the Los Angeles Kings or Anaheim Ducks, either as part of the teams or as fan, make no mistake…those drops are not from rain.

No, not rain at all. Rather, the dark clouds reflect sadness and the drops falling from the sky are tears, as the hockey gods, at least, the ones who watch over the Kings and Ducks, are crying.

Graig Woodburn, 50, died on December 19, after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. He covered the Kings and Ducks for the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Associated Press and The Sporting News until a couple of seasons ago, and most recently, he moved to Boston to cover the Boston Bruins forWEEI.com during the 2009-10 season, and to be closer to his family.

His last assignment was to cover the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft here in Los Angeles last June, when the Bruins had the second overall pick (Tyler Seguin).

Woodburn was also an attorney here in the Los Angeles area, specializing in consumer protection and class action law.

There is a better than average chance that if you follow Kings and/or Ducks, you may not be familiar with Graig’s work. After all, he did not work for the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, or any of the MediaNews Group newspapers, such as the Daily News or Long Beach Press Telegram, all of whom have had beat writers covering the local NHL teams in recent years.

But Graig was right there in the trenches, surprisingly, more often than you might think, given the fact that he was a practicing attorney. But he was often at practices and could always be found at games.

I last saw Graig at a media luncheon where the top ten projected picks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft were made available f...

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