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Old 01-12-2021, 12:39 PM   #1
TheScorpion
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Icon20 Bruins to retire Willie O'Ree's #22 on Feb. 18

Long overdue, IMO

https://www.nhl.com/bruins/news/bost...ey/c-320206442

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BOSTON - Boston Bruins President Cam Neely announced today, January 12, that the team will honor Willie O'Ree by retiring his number 22 jersey prior to the team's game against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, February 18.

"On behalf of the Boston Bruins organization I would like to congratulate Willie O'Ree as well as his wife, Deljeet, and his daughter, Chandra, on having his number retired in the TD Garden rafters," said Boston Bruins President Cam Neely. "Willie's contributions to the game of hockey transcend on-ice accomplishments and have opened countless doors for players who have come after him. He is without question deserving of this honor."

"Throughout the history of the National Hockey League, there have been very few individuals that have had such a profound impact on the league and its culture than Willie O'Ree," said Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs. "After breaking the color barrier as a Boston Bruin in 1958 and eventually retiring from professional hockey in 1979, Willie became the ultimate ambassador for improving diversity and inclusion within the game of hockey. The entire hockey world is forever indebted to Willie for all that he has done, and continues to do, for the sport. We are incredibly proud to retire Willie's number and cement his legacy as one of Boston's greatest athletes."

O'Ree is the 12th player to have his sweater honored by the Boston Bruins in franchise history, joining Lionel Hitchman (#3, 1934), Aubrey V. Clapper (#5, 1947), Edward W. Shore (#2, 1949), Milton C. Schmidt (#15, 1957), Robert G. Orr (#4, 1979), John P. Bucyk (#9, 1980), Philip A. Esposito (#7, 1987), Raymond J. Bourque (#77, 2001), Terence J. O'Reilly (#24, 2002), Cameron M. Neely (#8, 2004) and Richard D. Middleton (#16, 2018).

O'Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2018 as part of the "Builder" category, which is defined by "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general."

O'Ree became the first black player to compete in an NHL game on January 18, 1958, when he dressed for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens, despite being legally blind in one eye. Following the game, he said, "It was the greatest thrill of my life, I believe. I will always remember this day."

...

Given COVID-19 restrictions, it is possible that this ceremony will take place without fans at TD Garden. Despite this regrettable circumstance, the organization believes that it is important to move forward with a virtual pre-game ceremony and bestow this honor on Willie. Once protocols allow, the Bruins will again honor Willie in front of a full TD Garden.
They probably should've done this years ago but it's good to see them doing it now.

New Bruins UFA signing Craig Smith took #22 this off-season — he'll have to change.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:48 PM   #2
KelVarnsen
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Make it league wide
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:33 PM   #3
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Make it chaos and have Willie O'Ree day in the NHL like Jackie Robinson day for MLB. All players will wear #22 for the day.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:36 PM   #4
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Nice move. Timely.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:37 PM   #5
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Given COVID-19 restrictions, it is possible that this ceremony will take place without fans at TD Garden. Despite this regrettable circumstance, the organization believes that it is important to move forward with a virtual pre-game ceremony and bestow this honor on Willie. Once protocols allow, the Bruins will again honor Willie in front of a full TD Garden.
I like this- don't let COVID hold up life. Find a fit for purpose answer and circle back later to fill the holes.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:40 PM   #6
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The Hawks should do the same (posthumously, sadly) for Fred Sasakamoose. The number 21 is already retired for Stan Mikita, so it's probably easier.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KelVarnsen View Post
Make it league wide
Such a misstep by the NHL to retire Wayne's number league wide.

Retiring O'Ree's would obviously be the right thing.
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CroFlames View Post
Such a misstep by the NHL to retire Wayne's number league wide.

Retiring O'Ree's would obviously be the right thing.
Yep. According to the NHL being the best scorer is more honourable than the man who broke the colour barrier. Not a great look.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:29 PM   #9
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This is clearly Gretzky's fault for being white and of course an Oiler.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:22 PM   #10
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https://twitter.com/user/status/1349127696895389705
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:19 PM   #11
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Yep. According to the NHL being the best scorer is more honourable than the man who broke the colour barrier. Not a great look.
If we're gonna play these games then Manon Rheaume's #33 should be retired league wide as well.
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