Willie O'Ree:  The Story of the First Black Player in the NHL

Willie O'Ree: The Story of the First Black Player in the NHL

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"It doesn't matter what color he is, as long as he can play." —Boston Bruins coach Milt Schmidt
Willie O'Ree quietly made NHL history on January 18, 1958, when he became the first black player to take to the ice. In the dressing room before the game, his Boston Bruins teammates told him not to worry. If any one of the opposing team's players said anything to him, they'd have his back.

There was a round of applause when O'Ree stepped onto the ice, and newspapers ran the story. The color barrier in the NHL had been broken, yet it would be sixteen years before the next black player, Mike Marson, was drafted. Four decades later, the NHL pulled O'Ree out of retirement to honor his achievement and make him an ambassador for the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone program to encourage kids from all backgrounds to play hockey.

This new book by Nicole Mortillaro traces the early life of O'Ree, his journey to the NHL, highlights from his hockey career and his work encouraging diversity in the NHL.

Additional Information

Author Nicole Mortillaro
Publisher Orca
Publication Date 2012
Edition No
Pages 120
ISBN13 9781459401952