The skates image Willie O'Ree and inspiring messages. (Submitted/Bauer Hockey)

King described his customer of almost 20 years as humble, and stated the truth that Bauer honoured him this method suggested a lot to O'Ree, who's now 85.

"I believe in his mind he saw the skate as something that was special, and it was the very first time this had actually ever been done-- that a skate of this magnitude had been created, by a significant manufacturer, and after that it debuted in an NHL game," King stated.

Bauer made 24 sets of the skates with 15-16 sets going to NHL gamers to wear, either for warm-up or throughout a video game.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and Florida Panthers forward Anthony Duclair were 2 of the gamers to wear the skates.

Other sets are being used for other celebrations, consisting of one pair that will be going to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The used skates will be signed and returned to Bauer so the business can auction them off and send out the profits to Black Girl Hockey Club-- a non-profit committed to unifying Black females in the hockey neighborhood.

the NHL season began last month."We simply started sharing concepts and discovered ourselves going down the direction of a customized skate to not only celebrate the profession of Willie O'Ree

, however call attention to the value of variety and inclusion in hockey."The skates aren't readily available for sale to the public, with the exception of the sets that will be auctioned. O'Ree fans in Fredericton will be able to see the skates themselves. Fredericton city councillor Kevin Darrah sent a tweet to the business suggesting

that a pair of the skates would look great at the Willie O'Ree Place,

an arena on Fredericton's north side. Mayor Mike O'Brien followed up with a note to the business. Hughes stated Bauer concurred to the request and will be sending out a set to the city in the coming weeks. The skates aren't available for sale to the basic public, with the exception of the pairs that will be auctioned. O'Ree fans in Fredericton will be able to see the skates themselves. Mayor Mike O'Brien followed up with a note to the business. Hughes stated Bauer agreed to the request and will be sending a pair to the city in the coming weeks.

When Willie O'Ree hung up his skates from professional hockey, he likely didn't realize that 60 years later his face would be featured on celebratory skates.

O'Ree was the first Black individual to play in the National Hockey League, breaking the colour barrier in 1958 when he dressed for the Boston Bruins.

Earlier this week, some NHL gamers used special Bauer skates with a graphic of O'Ree's face paired with the number 22, the Fredericton local's jersey number.

The skates likewise consist of a quote from O'Ree's Hockey Hall of Fame induction speech in 2018: "All I needed was the chance."

According to Eustace King, O'Ree's representative, the previous hockey player was delighted when he opened the skates that Bauer sent to him.

"It was almost comparable to a young adult unboxing something at Christmas," King stated.


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