Willie O?Ree’s hockey legacy in Boston soon will be secure for future generations.
The Boston Bruins, NHL and city of Boston announced Wednesday at TD Garden they’ll dedicate a new street hockey rink in honor of O’Ree, the first black player to play in the NHL. The Willie O?Ree Rink will open to the public this summer in Boston’s Allston-Brighton neighborhood within Smith Playground, and the NHL will donate $100,000 toward its maintenance.
O’Ree played his first NHL game on Jan. 18, 1958 and went on to play professional hockey for 21 years. He has served as a diversity ambassador for the NHL since 1998.
The Bruins will honor O’Ree on Wednesday night prior to their game against the Montreal Canadiens in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of his NHL debut.