This week, the NHL Black Hockey History Tour presented by American Legacy returned to the Embassy of Canada for the first stop in its 14 city tour. Hockey legend Willie O’Ree was on hand to talk about his role as the first black player in the league. Willie spoke to us about what it means to him to launch the exhibit at the Embassy, his advice to young players today, and more. Watch below.
Willie O’Ree didn’t just come to the Embassy to talk to us about hockey’s history. He and acting Ambassador Hillman presented a check for $5000 USD to the Fort Dupont Cannons Ice Hockey Club from the Government of Canada’s Workplace Charitable Campaign. The club was founded by Hockey Hall of Famer Neal Henderson and is the older inner-city minority hockey program in the United States. Neal Henderson and Washington Capitals alum Craig Laughlin both joined in the check presentation.
Why the Fort Dupont Cannons? The Embassy has a history with Fort Dupont and the local club. Each year, we take our adopted school class to the rink to learn how to skate as part of Fort Dupont’s Schools Skate for Fitness program. A group of Embassy staff even helped clean up the arena as a service project last spring. We hope that this donation will help DC’s young aspiring players continue to get on the ice and build a lifelong love of hockey.