Willie Oree state New Jersey city Boston covid-19 NHL Willie Oree state New Jersey city Boston

Bruins postpone O'Ree honors until '22 so fans can be there

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BOSTON – The Boston Bruins will wait to retire the number of pioneering Black hockey player Willie O’Ree until next year so that they can raise his No.

22 banner to the rafters with fans in the building. The NHL said Thursday it asked the Bruins and O’Ree to postpone the ceremony until Jan.

18 -- 64 years to the day that he became the league’s first Black player. It had been scheduled for next Thursday night before a game against the New Jersey Devils. “We hope and expect the change will enable us all to commemorate this moment in a way that matches the magnitude of Willie’s impact,” the league said, “in front of a TD Garden crowd packed with passionate Bruins fans, who can express their admiration and appreciation for Willie and create

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