2ChildhoodWillie’s spent his childhood growing up in Fredericton,New Brunswick. Willie O’Ree was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in Willie was the youngest of 7 children. Willie started skating at the age of 3 and started playing league hockey at age 5. Hockey was his first true love, but he also liked baseball. Willie’s family was one of only two black families in Fredericton. Despite this, Willie’s family was very prestigious because his family was very athletic. Willie played in local hockey leagues until he joined a junior team. As you can see, Willie had a great childhoodfredrick.php
3Beginning of His Career Willie began his great career with the Kitchener-Waterloo Canucks. During one game he was struck in the right eye by a puck and unfortunately lost 95% of his vision in that eye. Despite this, he became the first black professional hockey player when he debuted with the Quebec Aces, a team affiliated with the Boston Bruins. He was signed to a $3 500 contract and that year the Aces won the league championship.home.earthlink.net/~tbootsc/ quebec_aces_68-69.gif
4NHL CareerWillie began his NHL career in Willie O’ Ree was the first black player in the NHL. After he played his first game, not a single newspaper mentioned him or his feat of being the first person of African heritage in the NHL.He played for two games before being sent back to the Aces. He was recalled by the Bruins again in In 43 games, he scored 4 goals and had 10 assists. At the end of the season, he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens. Two months later, he was again traded to the WHL’s Los Angeles Blades. As you can see, Willie had a successful NHL career.
5Rest of His Career www.logoserver.com/PHL.html Just because Willie’s NHL career was over this did not mean Willie stopped playing professional hockey. He played for 6 seasons with the Los Angeles Blades. While he was there he won a scoring title with 38 goals. In 1968, Willie started playing with the San Diego Hawks. The following year he won another scoring title with 39 goals. In 1974, the WHL folded. Despite this, Willie still wanted to play professional hockey. In 1978, he made a comeback with the San Diego Hawks. Despite being 43, he scored 50 goals in 70 games. In conclusion, just because Willie’s NHL career was over, it did not mean the rest of his career was not successful.
6After RetirementWillie not only had a great career, one which broke the NHL’s color barrier, but he also made contributions after his career. Willie settled down in San Diego after Today he lives and works there. Willie finally got his recognition from the NHL in 1998, 40 years after he broke the color barrier. He was honored at the NHL All-Star game that year and named Director of Youth Hockey Development for the NHL/USA Hockey Diversity Task Force. Also, the NHL recently created the Willie O’ Ree All-Star game for minorities. It is held every year at the World Junior Championships. As you can see, Willie made many great contributions after his career.O/oree.htm
7BibliographyFfrench, Robert. In Our Time. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada: Black Star Books, 1994.Walsh, Mike. “Soul on Ice-The Willie O’ Ree Story.” Mission Creep.