Willie O’Ree made history back in 1958 when he suited up for the Boston Bruins, becoming the first black player to play in the NHL, and he helped inspire and carve the path for many players along the way over the years.

While most hockey fans remember the Fredericton, New Brunswick native as a Boston Bruin, he actually had quite the career in the Western Hockey League, where he played 13 seasons. One of the franchises O’Ree spent time with in the WHL was the San Diego Gulls from 1967-1974. In his seven seasons with the Gulls, O’Ree appeared in 341 games where he scored 153 goals to go with 161 assists for 314 points.

On Friday night, the Gulls, now part of the AHL, will host the Bakersfield Condors and the franchise has some plans for the night to honour the 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee.


We’re WILLIE excited for tomorrow’s jersey + bobblehead combo 🔥#LetsGoGulls

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On top of the Willie O’Ree bobblehead giveaway, the Gulls will be turning the clock back and will hit the ice in retro jerseys, similar to the ones O’Ree wore during his stint in San Diego.


Throwing it back for Willie O'Ree Night with some classic unis. #LetsGoGulls

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‪Oh hey, Willie! 👋 #tbt #LetsGoGulls

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The 83-year-old was finally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year as a builder, where he delivered one of the better induction speeches we’ve ever heard.


Willie O'Ree reflects on breaking the colour barrier, and the work ahead 👏

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(H/T Instagram/sdgullsahl)