RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery |
For the first time, the NHL will be adapting the thrust of its February campaign of “hockey is for everyone” to a focus of celebrating Black History Month.
The league (NHL) and the players association (NHLPA) have joined to mark the new campaign focus with special websites have set up to highlight the achievements and contributions of black players throughout the years.
Canadian Willie O’Ree a top player in the minor leagues, broke the top league colour barrier when he took to the ice for the Boston Bruins in a game against home team Montreal in 1958.
He later played 45 games in the NHL, but was asked to join the NHL again in 1966 this time as an ambassador for diversity.
He was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last year to join two other black players, goalie Grant Fuhr of the Edmonton Oilers, the first black NHL player to be inducted, and Canadian women’s team captain Angela James.
Now aged 82, the former player from Fredericton, New Brunswick is happy to see the league celebrate Black History Month.
The league plans to feature a number of past and present black stars in video presentations on its website all this month.