NHLers to wear Willie O’Ree-inspired skates for Black History Month


Bauer Hockey unveiled today a custom skate with a design honouring Willie O'Ree as part of Black History Month. Several NHL players plan to wear the skate this week. (Bauer Hockey / CP)

EXETER, N.H. — A Canadian plant has produced skates honouring the NHL’s first Black player as part of Black History Month.

Bauer Hockey says the Bauer Innovation Centre in Blainville, Que., produced skates with a custom graphic celebrating the achievements and life of Willie O’Ree.

Several NHL players will wear the skates this week.

The design features an image of O’Ree, his number 22 and phrases related to the equality movement.

Bauer says the graphic was designed and inspired by Terry Smith of Terry Smith Creations, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds European-based forward J.T. Brown, and Eustace King, an NHLPA agent.

Simmonds will appear on Sportsnet’s The Big Picture with Christine Simpson at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday night.

O’Ree, a native of Fredericton, made his NHL debut in 1958 with the Boston Bruins. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.

With files from Sportsnet

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