NHL trailblazer Willie O’Ree is about to add another impressive accolade to his mantel.
O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier during the 1957-58 season when he suited up for the Boston Bruins. He recently had his No. 22 retired by the Bruins and also was celebrated by the city of Boston on Jan. 18 for “Willie O’Ree Day.”
It was announced Monday that O’Ree will be receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, the first time in the NHL’s long history.
“It is Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals, institutions, or groups,” according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “It can be awarded to anyone Congress deems worthy.”
The award certainly is well-deserved in this case.