Postage stamp to honour Willie O’Ree

Willie O’Ree

A Canadian postage stamp to honour Willie O’Ree, the NHL’s first Black player, will be unveiled in Edmonton on Saturday as part of the Heritage Classsic festivities.

The stamp will be officially issued on Monday.

O’Ree made his NHL debut with Boston on Jan. 18, 1958, and played two games with the Bruins that season.

The winger played in the minors for the next two seasons before appearing in 43 more NHL games with Boston in 1960-61, scoring four goals and adding 10 assists.

He received the Order of Canada in 2008 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2018. His No. 22 jersey was retired by the Bruins on Jan. 18, 2022, on the 64th anniversary of his NHL debut.

Last year, O’Ree was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the U.S. Congress’s highest honour, for his contributions to “hockey, inclusion and recreational opportunity.”

Willie O’Ree with the next generation