Willie O’Ree Bruins Number Retirement Ceremony Pushed Back

The celebration now will be 64 years to the day of his NHL debut


Willie O’Ree still is getting his number retired by the Boston Bruins, but it’s going to wait a year.

O’Ree was set to have his No. 22 raised to the TD Garden rafters next Thursday ahead of the B’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

However, the NHL announced Thursday that O’Ree and the Bruins have agreed to push the ceremony back until Jan. 18, 2022, in hopes that fans can be in the building.

From the league’s press release:

“After consultation with Willie and the Bruins, we have respectfully asked that the banner-raising be postponed until January 18, 2022 ? 64 years to the date that Willie became the first Black player in NHL history. We hope and expect the change will enable us all to commemorate this moment in a way that matches the magnitude of Willie’s impact ? in front of a TD Garden crowd packed with passionate Bruins fans, who can express their admiration and appreciation for Willie and create the meaningful moment he has earned throughout his incredible career.”

While it’s too bad that the ceremony will have to wait, O’Ree absolutely deserves to have a jam-packed TD Garden for the presentation.

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