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Entries with the tag: willie o'ree

Willie O’Ree Could Receive The Congressional Gold Medal

from William Douglas of NHL.com,

Members of the United States Senate and lead sponsors of the Congressional Gold Medal bill are urging fellow senators to sign legislation that would award Willie O'Ree, the NHL's first black player, the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.

If approved, O'Ree would join a prestigious group of Congressional Gold Medal recipients that includes Jackie Robinson, the first black player in Major League Baseball, and civil rights pioneers Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King.

"Please join us in honoring Willie O'Ree for his extraordinary contributions to sport, service and society by cosponsoring the Willie O'Ree Congressional Gold Medal Act," Sens. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) wrote in 'Dear Colleague' letters.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+o'ree

Video- A Special Puck Drop In Washington

via the YouTube page of the NHL,

Willie O'Ree joins civil rights pioneer and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to drop the first puck at Capital One Arena, as part of the Capitals' Black History Month celebration.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+lewis, willie+o'ree

Videos- Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction Speeches

First up Martin. St. Louis, below Martin Brodeur, Wilie O'Ree and Gary Bettman.


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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, martin+broduer, martin+st.+louis, willie+o'ree

The Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award

NEW YORK (April 6, 2018) – The NHL announced today the creation of the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award to recognize the commitment of those who are improving lives and strengthening their communities through the game of hockey. It will be presented for the first time at the 2018 NHL Awards

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  Tags: willie+o'ree

Bruins, City Of Boston Honor Willie O’Ree

As Sportsnet illustrates, the Boston Bruins honored Willie O'Ree prior to the Bruins-Canadiens game on Wednesday...

And, per the Associated Press:

Hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree was honored in Boston on Wednesday, the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Bruins forward breaking the NHL's color barrier.

At a news conference at the TD Garden before the Bruins game against the Montreal Canadiens, Mayor Marty Walsh declared Jan. 18, 2018, to be "Willie O'Ree Day". O'Ree made his debut in 1958 during a 3-0 victory against the Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal.

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Willie O’Ree Celebrates 60th Anniversary Of NHL Debut

From NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin:

It was 60 years ago this week when [Willie] O'Ree got the call from the Boston Bruins, notifying him that they would like to bring him up for a pair of games against the Montreal Canadiens, the first on Jan. 18 at the Montreal Forum, a place that O'Ree had played in multiple times.

But never like this.

"I took the train up to Montreal, met the team, met Milt Schmidt the coach, and we sat down," said O'Ree, now 82 years old. "He said, 'Willie, we brought you up because you could add a little something to the team.' He said, 'Don't worry about anything else. The Bruins organization is behind you 100 percent. Just go out and play your game.'"


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  Tags: boston+bruins, milt+schmidt, willie+o'ree

Willie O’Ree to Lead NHL Delegation at Congressional Black Caucus

NEW YORK (September 20, 2011)— The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced plans to send representatives and hockey ambassadors to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 41st Annual Legislative Conference, marking the first time the hockey community has had a formal presence at the annual public policy gathering.

Among those in attendance will be NHL legend and Hockey is for Everyone™ Ambassador Willie O’Ree, NHL Vice President of Community Affairs Kenneth Martin, Jr., NHL Network analyst and NHL alumnus Kevin Weekes and local Washington, D.C., youth hockey coaching legend and 2010 Bridgestone Mark Messier Leadership Award recipient Neal Henderson. Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward is scheduled to attend the Phoenix Awards Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 24.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+ward, kevin+weekes, neal+henderson, willie+o'ree

O’Ree to Receive Hockey Legacy Award

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.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+o'ree

Everybody Hates Chris… But Loves Willie

From Thomas LaRocca at NHL.com:

“I was nervous,” O’Ree said of his taping. “I was more nervous than in my NHL debut. I had my lines all down pat and then they changed the script and then changed it again.

“This was my first acting appearance and it was fun; but I would much rather be on the ice playing hockey.”

Spoken like a true hockey player.

Also appearing in the episode was New Jersey Devils goaltender Kevin Weekes. He was also in the scene with O’Ree, helping the two main characters, Drew and Chris, with directions to see the New York Islanders play Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers in the early 1980s.

Thanks to Steve for giving me the heads up.  This episode of Everybody Hates Chris airs on the CW network, March 30th.  A preview is available below:

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: everybody+hates+chris, kevin+weekes, willie+o'ree

O’Ree on Today’s NHL Hour

NEW YORK (January 17, 2008) – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of his NHL debut, Willie O’Ree will be a guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.

On January 18, 1958, playing for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens, O’Ree became the first black person to play in the NHL. O’Ree played 45 games with the Bruins from 1958-61. His professional career spanned 21 seasons, mostly in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Los Angeles Blades and the San Diego Gulls. For the past 10 years, O’Ree has served as the National Hockey League’s Director of Youth Development and hockey ambassador for NHL Diversity and has introduced the game to thousands of future players of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.

NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.

*At showtime, listen live at this link

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, media, nhl+hour, nhl+radio, willie+o'ree

A Look At Willie O’Ree

from Black Athlete,

Tough Willie O’Ree—whose older brother used to hit him into the boards to get him used to the greetings of NHL players—always had to be ready for a fight. Because there was always a fist, elbow, stick or—especially in New York, Chicago and Detroit—a slur in O’Ree’s face.

“I never wanted to be a fighter, but I wasn’t going to let anyone push me out of the league,” he says as we walk the quiet halls of the TD Banknorth Garden, the arena that replaced the original Boston Garden in 1995.

He never picked a fight because of a racial comment.

“I let them go in one ear and out the other—(otherwise) I’d be fighting all the time,” he says.


Update 5:19pm ET: At Willie O’Ree’s NHL.com blog, an interview with O’Ree and Snoop Dogg at a Ducks game this week. 


Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: snoop+dogg, willie+o'ree

O’Ree Still Has Goals

from Devon O’Neil of the Boston Globe,

By 1996, most of the sports world - and, for that matter, the rest of the world - had forgotten about Willie O’Ree. Which explains how he found himself working in San Diego at the historic Hotel del Coronado as a security guard, making about $9 an hour, a soft-spoken black man with gray wisps of hair from the Canadian province of New Brunswick, creeping through his 60s politely and privately.

Every so often, O’Ree would bump into someone who knew who he was. Like the time before he took the job at the hotel, when he was assigned to work security for Michael Jordan at a pro-am golf tournament. Jordan grinned when he saw O’Ree. He knew he’d been the first black man ever to take the ice in an NHL game, that he was, as it’s said, the “Jackie Robinson of hockey.”

read on (take some time out to read this lengthy story) & more hockey bits.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+o'ree


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