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This Day in History - Willie O'Ree


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Brett Thomas Wills
January 18, 2023  (9:41 PM)
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On this day sixty-five years ago Willie O'Ree broke the colour barrier becoming the first man of colour to play in an NHL game.


O'Ree, who was twenty-three at the time suited up for the Boston Bruins due to an illness of Leonard Labine., the Bruins opponent that day was none other than the Montreal Canadiens.
While O'Rees' stint in the National Hockey League was short, his impact on the game as a whole, lives on to this day.
O'Ree was credited with playing forty-five NHL games across two seasons where he contributed four goals and ten assists as well as twenty-six penalty minutes.
Since 1996 O'Ree has been the NHL's Diversity Ambassador. He travels across North America to schools and hockey programs to promote messages of inclusion, dedication, and confidence.
Willie O'Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member in the builders' category.
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