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First Black NHL Player, Willie O’ree, to Have Jersey Retired

O’ree makes the 12th player to have this honor in the Boston Bruins franchise history.

Within a week’s time, Willie O’ree, the first Black player in the NHL will have his Boston Bruins jersey retired.

According to The Boston Globe, O’Ree became the NHL’s first Black player when he was called up from the minor leagues to play for the Bruins on Jan. 18, 1958. His NHL career was brief, which lasted 45 games between the years of 1958 and 1960-61 season, while also playing professional hockey until 1979.

Representative Ayana Pressley of Boston stated, “Willie O’Ree is an extraordinary trailblazer, ice breaker, activist, and inspiration to any player who has ever doubted their place in the big leagues.”

RELATED: Will The Pending Honor For Black Hockey Player Willie O’Ree Be A Game Changer?

According to the NHL site, The Boston Bruins will honor O’ree during a jersey retirement ceremony of his number 22 on Tuesday, January 18th just before their game. O’ree makes the 12th player to have this honor in the Boston Bruins franchise history.

Besides his jersey retirement, O’ree is also solidified to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in the coming weeks.

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