Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/28/11 at 04:14 PM ET
NEW YORK (June 28, 2011) – Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the National Hockey League (NHL), is to be honored at the annual ‘Tradition’ awards ceremony in Boston, MA tonight. Hosted by The Sports Museum, the 10th annual awards gala will include a presentation of the Hockey Legacy Award to O’Ree in recognition of his trailblazing NHL career and his many contributions to the community. Past recipients of this award include Boston Bruins alumni Johnny Bucyk, Phil Esposito and Harry Sinden.
This year’s award will be presented to O’Ree by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
“On behalf of the National Hockey League family, we congratulate Willie O’Ree on being awarded the Hockey Legacy Award in recognition of his lifetime of outstanding achievement, service and dedication to the community,” said Kenneth Martin, Jr., NHL Vice President of Community Affairs. “We are proud of all that he has done as an ambassador for the game.”
O’Ree currently serves as the NHL’s Director of Youth Development and hockey ambassador for the Hockey is for Everyone initiative, a post he has held since January 1998. On January 18, 1958, playing for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens, he became the first black person to play in the NHL—an extraordinary event that paved the way for future players of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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