O'Ree, NHL'S first Black player, to have jersey retired by Bruins

Posted at 2:41 PM, Jan 13, 2022

The Boston Bruins are set to honor Willie O'Ree, the league's first Black player, next week when they retire his jersey.

On Jan. 18, before they face the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins will retire O'Ree's No. 22 jersey, the team announced.

O'Ree will become the 12th player to have his jersey retired by the Bruins.

This won't be the first time this year that O'Ree is set to be honored.

Sometime in the coming weeks, he is set to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award given by Congress, the Boston Globe reported.

According to the newspaper, the House reached the required 290 co-sponsors and could vote on it next week.

The Senate passed it last July.

The legislation was first introduced in 2019 by Republican Sen. Tim Scott and Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

O'Ree became the first Black player to play in the NHL when he debuted in 1958 with the Bruins.

He went on to have a 21-year career in the pros, despite being legally blind in one eye.

For the past 23 years, the Canadian hockey legend has served as the league's Diversity Ambassador.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.