Bruins finally retire Willie O’Ree’s number

NHL's First Black Player Number To Be Honored

by SticksOnTheIce

Posted 1 year ago

On Tuesday, nearly 63 years to the day after Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier in the NHL with the Boston Bruins, the team announced that O’Ree’s number will be retired in a ceremony next month and raised to the rafters at TD Garden.

"Willie's contributions to the game of hockey transcend on-ice accomplishments and have opened countless doors for players who have come after him, Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement. "He is without question deserving of this honor."

NHL players will also wear helmet decals celebrating O'Ree from Jan. 16 until the end of February.

O'Ree played 45 games over two seasons (1957-58, 1960-61) with the Bruins despite being blind in his right eye. He scored 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) during his NHL career.

O'Ree has been a diversity ambassador for the NHL since 1998, specifically working on its "Hockey is for Everyone" initiative.

Topic: Sports

Tags: Willie O’Ree

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