Willie O’Ree is a big fedora guy.
So, what better way to mark Tuesday’s fanfare than by, well, getting him a fedora.
O’Ree broke the NHL color barrier in 1956 with the Boston Bruins, who will retire his No. 22 on Tuesday before their game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
It’s yet another accomplishment for O’Ree in a long list of them, which include a congressional medal of honor and a proclamation that Jan. 18, 2022 would be named “Willie O’Ree Day” in the City of Boston.
For Tuesday’s occasion, the Bruins got O’Ree a custom fedora with a liner that recognizes the honor. And, naturally, Bruins fashion guru David Pastrnak had a hand in making it happen.
“I think it’s a great honor for Willie,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Tuesday over Zoom about O’Ree’s number retirement. “A retired jersey, congressional medal of honor, everything that goes along with that.
“And a nice, snazzy fedora, too. I liked that. That was a nice touch by Pasta and the Bruins,” Cassidy added.
The Bruins on Monday had a team Zoom call with O’Ree, at which point he was presented (virtually) with the fedora. You could see him light up as he opened it.