Bruins share new details on Willie O'Ree's jersey retirement ceremony


Willie O'Ree is finally set to get his due at TD Garden next month.

The Bruins announced Friday they will retire O'Ree's No. 22 jersey on Tuesday, Jan. 18, prior to Boston's home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

O'Ree's jersey retirement ceremony, initially scheduled for Feb. 18, 2021, was postponed because fans still weren't allowed in the stands at that time due to COVID-19 health and safety measures. The Jan. 18 ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET before 7 p.m. puck drop.

Jan. 18 is a fitting new date, as it marks the 64th anniversary of O'Ree breaking the NHL's color barrier by making his Bruins debut against the Montreal Canadiens.

A native of New Brunswick, Canada, O'Ree played a total of 45 games for the Bruins and enjoyed a 21-year professional hockey career despite losing 95 percent of his vision in his right eye before debuting for Boston. He was the only Black player to play in an NHL game until 1974 and has been active in his post-playing days trying to promote diversity in hockey.

O'Ree became the NHL's Diversity Ambassador in 1998 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder in 2018. He'll be the 12th Bruins player to have his sweater raised to the Garden rafters.