At Madison Square Garden on November 17, 1946, Shavey Lee, the unofficial mayor of Chinatown, and two showgirls from the China Doll nightclub honored a blushing Larry Kwong of the New York Rovers at center ice, and presented Kwong with the Keys to New York's Chinatown.
Lester Patrick scouted Kwong and was impressed, signing him for the New York Rovers, a farm team of the New York Rangers. Kwong scored a goal in his debut for the Rovers against the Boston Olympics in Boston on October 27, 1946.
Kwong went on to lead the New York Rovers in scoring in 1947–1948 with 86 points in 65 games.
Larry Kwong’s career with the New York Rangers lasted a New York minute.
On March 13, 1948, Kwong made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers, wearing number 11, against Maurice Richard and the Montreal Canadiens in the Montreal Forum. Kwong waited until late in the third period before seeing the ice for his only shift of the night.Playing only for around a minute he tallied no points in what would be his only big-league game. The Rovers' top scorer had watched several other Rover forwards get called to the NHL ahead of him. Demoted after a single minute, Kwong became convinced that he would not get an opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level with the Rangers. In the off-season, Kwong accepted a more lucrative offer to play for the Valleyfield Braves of the Quebec Senior Hockey League.
Larry Kwong Quote:
“I broke the ice a little bit,” he said, pointing to the numerous players of Asian ancestry who have since played in the league. “Maybe being the first Chinese player in the N.H.L. gave more of a chance for other Chinese boys that play Hockey.”